Recipes for Grits Go South of the Border Post

Submitted 2 months ago
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Step by Step Guidance in Making Your Own South by South Mex Feast

If you read the blog post, Grits Go South of the Border, and would like to try some or all of these recipes, here are ingredient lists and instructions for you.  I've also included substitution suggestions for some ingredients that can be hard to find.

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BBQ Beef Brisket Street Tacos (serves 4)


1/4-1/2 lb of prepared BBQ Beef Brisket (I got mine from Big Fatty's in WRJ, but Wicked Awesome BBQ is another great choice -- if you're really ambitious, of course, you can make your own), shredded.

Homemade Guacamole -- scoop out the meat of 2 medium to large avocados, then add the juice of one lime, and mix in one or two minced garlic cloves and salt to taste. If you like your guacamole spicy, finely dice a jalapeño pepper, but keep it simple -- the tacos have a lot of flavor from the other elements.

1/2 cup of Mexican queso fresco -- if you can't find queso fresco, plain crumbled feta cheese is an excellent substitution.

Pickled radishes and chopped cilantro to garnish -- you can make your own pickled radishes (here's a link to an easy recipe: A store-bought kimchi would also work well as a topper. What you want are these final tart and fresh elements to cut the fatty richness of the meat, cheese, and avocado.

8-10 street taco sized corn tortillas (Woodstock Farmer's Market sells these)

Directions for assembly: Warm the tortillas in a 250-degree oven for 5 minutes. As soon as they come out, spread a liberal layer of guacamole on each tortilla, then top with the shredded beef brisket, a sprinkling of cheese, a few thinly-sliced radishes, and a sprinkling of cilantro. Arrange on a platter surrounded by slices of lime and serve.

Blistered Poblano Pepper Cheese Grits with Tequila Lime Shrimp  (serves 4-6)


3-4 Poblano Peppers

4 cups chicken broth

1 garlic clove

1 cup old-fashioned grits or cornmeal polenta

4-6 oz sharp cheddar cheese (or any kind you like, really)

4 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp heavy cream

2-3 peeled and deveined shrimp for each serving

1 tbsp each of granulated garlic, smoked paprika,  and cayenne pepper

Juice of two limes

1-2 tbsp tequila (if you'd like to leave this out, you can just increase the lime juice)

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, tequila, and lime in a bowl. Toss shrimp and allow to marinade for at least 15 minutes, and up to one hour. 

While the shrimp are marinating, wash and pat dry peppers. Using metal tongs, hold whole peppers over an open flame on a gas range and turn, allowing skin to blacken and blister. Alternatively, you can place the peppers on a sheet pan and broil them in the oven, turning occasionally, until skins are blackened and puckered. When the pepper skins look done, place them in a ziplock bag and seal. Let sit for 20 minutes -- this will allow the skins to be removed easily.

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Add the garlic and slowly stir in the grits. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring frequently, until the grits are tender, about 20 minutes.

While the grits cook, peel the poblano peppers by pulling off the skins with your hands. When most of the skin is removed, chop the soft flesh of the peppers and set aside.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter, and cream. Fold in the strips of poblano peppers, saving some pieces for garnish. Season with salt and pepper, and keep the grits warm by placing a top on the saucepan.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, and add the shrimp. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes per side. You can also grill the shrimp if you prefer. During the last minute of cooking, squeeze some fresh lime juice on the shrimp, and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Assemble by spooning the grits onto a platter or into a shallow bowl, and then top with the shrimp. Garnish with chopped cilantro and remaining strips of pepper, and serve immediately.

Grilled Mexican Street Corn (serves 4)


4 ears of fresh corn

12 oz plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup queso fresco or plain, crumbled feta cheese

2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 tsp smoked paprika, plus more if you are using it to season the corn before grilling

Cilantro and lime wedges to garnish

Salt and pepper to taste


Slather corn with butter, salt, pepper and, if you want to add a little complexity and spice, add some smoked paprika. Wrap each ear of corn up in foil or back in its husk. Grill over medium flame, turning occasionally, until kernels are plump and starting to get charred.

While corn grills, mix the Greek yogurt with 1/4 cup of cheese, garlic, and smoked paprika. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 lime wedges in, and add salt and pepper to taste. Traditional Mexican street corn makers employ mayonnaise as the base for their sauce, but I like the tartness and thick consistency that Greek yogurt brings.

When corn is ready, remove from grill and place on a serving platter. I like to cut my corn ears in half before slathering them in the sauce -- while they are absolutely delicious, they can be messy to eat, and the smaller portions make them easier to manage.

Drizzle the yogurt sauce liberally over each ear of corn. Right before serving, top with the rest of the cheese, chopped cilantro, a sprinkling of smoked paprika for extra color, and a few pinches of coarse salt. Add lime wedges around the edges of the platter.

Broiled Sweet Peppers (serves 4-6)


2-3 multi-colored bell peppers

Olive oil, salt, and pepper


Arrange whole peppers on a baking sheet and place under broiler, turning occasionally, until the skins are blackened and blistered. When all sides are fairly evenly blackened, use metal tongs to place the whole peppers in a large, ziplock bag. Allow to rest for 20 minutes. When ready, peel skin off (it should come easily), remove core and seeds, slice, and arrange on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil; coarse salt and pepper to taste. For extra color and depth, you can top (as I did below) with additional queso fresco and cilantro.


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