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Grits with goat cheese, honey and shiitake mushrooms

From Jonesborough Locally Grown

<p>This dish was prepared by Jacob Berry, sous chef at Bistro 105 and our guest chef at the market June 25th, 2011. Even folks who said they didn&#8217;t like grits thought this was wonderful!</p> <p>Jacob cooked with these ingredients from the market:<br /> Stone ground grits from Shell Mill<br /> Plain goat cheese from Ziegenwald Dairy<br /> Shiitake Mushrooms from Salamander Springs Gardens<br /> Fresh Rosemary from Bowers Farm</p> <p>Jacob used bacon fat to carmelize onions in this recipe&#8212;but you can make this vegetarian by substituting oil or butter.</p>
Source: Jacob Berry, sous chef of Bistro 105 (Entered by Karen Childress)
Serves: 8-10 as a side dish

1 cup Stone Ground Grits
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 Tbl bacon fat
3 cups water
1 cup milk
1/4 cup plain soft goat cheese
1/4 cup honey
2 cups Shiitake mushrooms
2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
small pinch chopped fresh rosemary
to taste salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 Tbl butter

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Slow-cooking, stone ground grits are recommended over quick-cooking for flavor and texture. If using fresh, stone-ground grits, do this first: soak grits in water for 20-30 minutes. Skim off any husk that floats to the top, then strain the grits. Do not cook in the soaking liquid!
  2. While grits are soaking, carmelize onions in the bacon fat in a large saucepan. Add water, milk and the strained grits. Bring to a boil then cook over low heat stirring consistently until tender (approx 1 hour). If cooking grits ahead of time to serve later, take off heat before they are fully cooked, as the grits will continue cooking when you re-heat them.
  3. Mushrooms: Preheat your saute pan, add oil and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add garlic and saute until brown. Add rosemary, salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with a spash of cooking sherry. Finish by adding butter.
  4. Serve mushrooms over grits.