A plate of grilled quail isn’t complete without a side of poblano grits. This creamy, sort of Southern, sort of Texas dish is rich and a great pairing with the smoky flavor of meat or poultry off the grill.
Makes 8 servings
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking (5-minute) white grits
3 garlic cloves, roasted
3 medium poblano peppers, roasted (see below) and chopped
1 to 2 (2-inch) jalapeños, cut in half, seeds removed if desired
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the broth, butter, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring every 2 minutes, for 7 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside off the heat for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray eight ½ -cup ramekins or a 9 × 5 × 2 ¾ -inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
In a blender jar or work bowl of a food processor, combine the roasted garlic and poblano peppers with the eggs. Process just until smooth and slightly thickened. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the grits, egg mixture, 2 cups of the cheese and cilantro. Mix with a rubber spatula until well blended.
Spoon the grits into the prepared ramekins or baking dish.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until bubbly at the edges.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheese over the top. Serve hot.
To roast poblano peppers
Preheat the broiler or a heavy skillet on the stovetop. Place the peppers on a broiler pan or in the hot skillet. Cook until most of the skin blisters and chars. Place in a plastic bag and let cool enough to handle. Holding the stem or stem end, peel off the skin. Remove the stem. Cut open the pepper and scrape out the seeds.