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“Enchilada Queen” Sylvia Casares Shares Her Secrets In A New Cookbook

Poblano Grits

Courtesy of 'The Enchilada Queen Cookbook'

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.

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