Hello from Ann Arbor! This first post of the school year got me thinking about my first post ever around this time last year. This also means I failed to throw my blog a proper birthday. To make up for it, I'll eat cake this week and maybe even recap my blogging over the past year here.
On to today. After a week of downpours and drizzles, today's beautiful weather was welcomed. Mondays are my best class days because I only have two and am done by noon. I came back to my apartment after class, power napped and then biked to the Arboretum to find a shady place to study. I got more studying than expected done and was also able to relax and take in the great outdoors for a while. I returned from my excursion refreshed with big plans to run (it was pretty short, slightly pathetic) and make dinner.
The recipe for Roasted Tomato Grits with Goat Cheese has been on my mind since it appeared on Love & Olive Oil last week. I've been wanting to expand my grit repertoire (ok, well start my repertoire) for quite some time and it is prime tomato time in Michigan, so it didn't take much to sway me into trying this recipe.
I roasted cherry tomatoes from the Farmer's Market, and found the suggested 400° oven to be a bit too hot. Next time I would stay closer to 350°.
I ran into problems when cooking my grits, I'm still not sure where the misstep was. The recipe suggests cooking stone-ground grits for 45 minutes. I purchased these grits from Bob's Red Mill, but it took less than 10 minutes start to finish to cook them. I was worried about the grits drying out so I added the butter and goat cheese right away hoping that would provide enough moisture until the tomatoes were done. When it the grits continued to dry out, I divided them into two ceramic dishes and popped them in the oven for about 10 minutes. My grit vs. polenta knowledge is minimal and I'm not exactly sure which one I ended up with.
Nonetheless, I was pleased with the end result. I topped my "grits" with the roasted tomatoes, freshly chopped basil, and a little more goat cheese. The rich flavor of the roasted tomatoes was the star of the show.
Off to study grits, polenta, and direct object pronouns in Spanish. . .
Updated 9/13/11: I checked out what Mark Bittman had to say in How to Cook Everything about grits and polenta. It appears grits are a coarse grind of corn and hominy, while polenta is a less coarse grind of cornmeal that sets as it cools and seems to lend itself to more savory dishes. Tomato, toma-toe, I think my dish was more polenta-ish.