Cheddar Cheese Grits with Spicy Black Beans

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 20m
  • Rating ****

Serves 4

Southern and Southwestern ingredients unite in this sustaining meal of beans, peppers and tomatoes over the best grits you will ever eat. If you don't have the quick-cooking variety, use regular and follow the instructions on the package.


  • For Grits:
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1/4 pound cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
  • For Beans:
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch squares
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch squares
  • 6 scallions including green tops, sliced thin
  • 2 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans (1 19-ounce can)
  • 1/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped


FOR GRITS: In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter, the Tabasco, paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the grits in a slow stream, whisking. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the grits are very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Cover to keep warm.

FOR BEANS: Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over moderate heat. Add the bell peppers and scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the beans are hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes. Serve over the cheese grits.

 The robust and varied flavors in this dish want a big, spicy and fruity red wine to match their intensity. Zinfandel seems to have an affinity for black beans, and a sturdy example from the Napa Valley will suit these grits and beans well.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 2947

nutrition information per serving

591 calories; 11g total fat; 28mg cholesterol; 831mg sodium; 96g carbohydrates; 18g fiber; 29g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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