After all, when was the last time his dinner plate contained “porched” (as my mother called them) eggs? He decided I might have poached some eggs in early marriage. I was actually thinking I hadn’t dined on one since I was in kindergarten.
Anyway, the meal was a a Tex-Mex melange of some favorite things: cheese grits (who can beat it?), Pico de Gallo, poached eggs, and fried tortillas. The grits formed a birds’ nest for the remaining items.
Hubby looked at me as though I had made up the whole thing in a desperation dinner-time act, but I waggled in front of him the torn-out magazine page on which the combo was featured. “Just dig in,” I adjured. “You’ll be happy.”
The only part that took some assembly was the Pico de Gallo, which also was the element that added the most pizzazz. Fresh chopped tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, sweet corn kernels, onion, and avocados came together quickly and were refrigerated for a couple of hours for the items to get acquainted with each other. A simple cheese grits recipe (everyone’s recommending stone-ground grits these days) cooked and thickened on the stove. A poached egg cooked to the desired degree of doneness (I like mine pretty non-runny) is the top layer.
This was cute as could be and made a wonderful entrée. Hubby wasn’t laughing when he asked whether we’d have leftovers the next night. But he sure was smiling real big when I said yes.
Cheese Grits with Poached Eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 teaspoon table salt (I used salt substitute)
1 cup stone-ground grits
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) freshly shredded pepper jack cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
6 large eggs
Pico de Gallo (below)
Bring milk, salt, and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits; return mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and butter. Cover and keep warm. Pour water to depth of 2 inches into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and maintain at a light simmer. Add vinegar. Break eggs and slip into water, 1 at a time, as close as possible to surface of water. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Remove with a slotted spoon. Trim edges if desired. Spoon grits into 6 bowls; top with Pico de Gallo, eggs, and tortilla strips.
Pico de Gallo
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh corn kernels
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon table salt (or salt substitute)
2 avocados, coarsely chopped
Stir together first eight ingredients. Just before you serve, stir in chopped avocados. Makes 1 1/2 cups. (Source: Southern Living, March 2013)