For the last few weeks, every night when I left work for home, I could smell wood burning. It was odd to catch a whiff of wood smoke, because I’m not working in central Ontario, but in a city. I’m not complaining about this – I am a fan of the smell of wood smoke.
My curiosity was piqued, so I decided to investigate the source of the lovely smell. Turns out, just a few steps away from where I wait for my bus is a barbecue restaurant. I had to try it out. It’s called Big Crow and it’s sorta hidden behind another restaurant, but it’s worth finding.
Really not much more than a hard walled tent, I was happy to get a seat beside the firepit. It was very cold, though blankets were provided. I ordered and inhaled some fantastic garlic bread, some Chinatown Miami ribs which were sprinkled with sesame seeds and served with pickled cucumbers and the best side dish ever: grits with queso, maple syrup and topped with green onions.
Here’s a horrible photo of the grits:
I was hooked! I had to make some grits at home, to save me from stopping at the restaurant every night for dinner. Or for a bowl of grits at least.
Get some grits.
And some chicken stock.
Get some minced garlic too.
Add the garlic, then the grits, slowly, to the heated chicken stock.
In between stirring the grits, grate some cheddar.
Here are the grits after 20 minutes.
Off the heat, add the butter.
And the cream.
Then add the cheese.
To mimic the Big Crow grits, I added some green onions on top.
So… not the same flavours as the Big Crow’s grits, but very tasty nonetheless. Here’s the recipe I used:
“I seriously have received three marriage proposals over a bowl of my cheese grits,” says chef Amber Huffman. “I’ve accepted none so far.”
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup old-fashioned grits
4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
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, 20 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese, butter and cream. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.