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Fresh Hominy Grits

For breakfast with smoky bacon and eggs, or for dinner with fried catfish or flounder—and always with a touch of hot sauce.

About 4 cups


About 20 minutes, if you have the hominy already prepared


Fresh hominy grits were a staple porridge everywhere in the western hemisphere before the Europeans showed up. They are a deceptively simple, highly nutritious food with scents so lovely and an allure so powerful that we find ourselves nibbling away at bits of hominy before the grits are finished cooking. We get dozens of calls every week asking for hominy grits. You can make fresh hominy grits yourself by simply simmering Henry Moore whole hominy corn in lime water. When the hominy is al dente, drain it, wash away the dissolved skins, pinch off the tipcaps (brown nibs at the bottom of the kernels), and pulse in a food processor to the desired texture—we like them very coarse. Cook the grits in a saucepan with water until the corn particles hydrate and swell. Stir in butter, season, and serve. The details are in the recipe below.

Cooking Remarks

The hominy must be hot and hydrated before it is creamed out with the butter. In the saucepan, the kernels will swell and become slightly creamy. At that point, it is safe to stir in the butter.

We are compelled to ask who instigated the myth that hominy is difficult to prepare. Children on three continents cooked hominy and pounded grits every day for thousands of years. What’s the problem, America? Required reading: Here we discuss the amazing culture and flavor dimensions of fresh hominy in depth. Make this dish and you’ll have a new friend for life.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a food processor, a rubber spatula, a heavy-bottomed large saucepan, and a wooden spoon.  

    • 1
      recipe Fresh Whole Hominy (about 3 cups), freshly made or made ahead and chilled
    • 1¾ to 2
      cups boiling water
    • 5
      tablespoons cold unsalted European-style butter
    • 1
      teaspoon fine sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

    Turn the hominy into a food processor and pulse until you have the texture of coarse grits (fig. 1.1). How long this takes will depend on whether you begin with hot or cold hominy—cold hominy can take up to thirty-five 1-second pulses but hot hominy will break down much more quickly. 


    Transfer the hominy to a heavy-bottomed large saucepan, set the pan over low heat and warm, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the hominy is hot throughout and has begun to try to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, after about 5 minutes, add 1 cup of the boiling water and continue to stir to hydrate the grits. They will remain stout in texture (fig. 2.1). Add boiling water bit by bit—up to an additional 1 cup—and stir until the grits begin to swell and soften, about 5 minutes; the hominy must be hydrated throughout before the butter is added or the butter will coat the kernels and prevent them from absorbing water. Over continued low heat, add the butter and stir until the grits are creamy (fig. 2.2). Season with the salt and, if desired, add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve hot with Fresh Red Chile Hot Sauce. (To keep the grits hot for up to 30 minutes, transfer them to a heatproof bowl, cover with aluminum foil, and set the bowl over barely simmering water in a saucepan. Before serving, stir well and, if necessary, thin the grits with a little hot water.) 

    1. 1.1
    1. 2.1
    2. 2.2