Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cleaning The Fridge Remnant Dinner (Ham & Savory Grits)

When you read this know in advance this happened on July 2.  We have had blissful sunny days and instead of writing about food, I have been out in the sun swimming and enjoying holidays and birthdays with my family.  I began writing this post the night we ate this but I got a phone call or saw something shiny and I left blog world.  I am continuing right now but am not going to rewrite what I had started. ( Sun and swimming makes me lazy)  I ask that you suspend belief and just pretend this actually happened this evening.

I was procrastinating waiting for inspiration for the monthly cleaning of the refrigerator.  This time it needed a complete thorough take everything out, swab the decks, toss dubious containers and put everything back in its place type cleaning.  Did I do that?  Well no, but at least I did go through everything and sorted all that needed to be tossed.  Right now it is presentable, but that is all it is

It was late and I had nothing ready for dinner.  Not only did I have nothing ready, I hadn't even given a thought to what we were having.  Fortunately I found some sliced ham that had been pushed to the back of the meat drawer and it needed to be eaten right away. I also had  a few small peppers and 3/4 of an onion waiting to be used. I had just picked a few cherry tomatoes from the yard too. There was also an opened carton of whipping cream with just a tad over 1 tablespoon in it. ( Who saves 1 tablespoon of cream? Oh, yeah! I do.)

Ingredients were found so all I needed was inspiration or desperation to form them into something edible and somewhat satisfying. I knew there needed to be something of substance for the soon to be creation to sit on, but I had not the time nor patience for rice and I was completely out of potatoes. Jim Dandy to the rescue!

                                                                     Ham over Savory Grits

Cooked quick cooking grits ( I am not going to tell you how many to use. Look on the package and cook the amount you need for your family.  But please, for the love of all that is Holy, DO NOT USE INSTANT GRITS )  Make grits according to package directions.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter per 1 cooked cup of grits  ( 2 actual servings) .  Add 1 teaspoon dried savory ( thyme will work as well)  and 1 tablespoon of dried parsley along with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt.  (Remember these measurements are for 2 servings only. Adjust upwards if you are making larger servings) Stir to blend.  If you like a little heat add a couple of drops of tabasco sauce and stir more.  Pour the grits into a small greased loaf pan* and let sit while you cook the rest of the food.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion julienned
3 small sweet peppers sliced ( These were slightly larger than a ping pong ball)
6 cherry tomatoes ( because that is how many were ripe)
5 slices deli cut in strips
1 tablespoon whipping cream
2 tablespoons of chicken broth (if you have it , if not 2 tablespoons water or white wine)

Saute' the vegetables in olive oil until they are nicely wilted but not browned.  Add the ham strips and stir to mix with the vegetables. Remove from the heat but leave in the pan

Turn the small loaf pan upside down.  The grits should slide out in 1 whole piece. Slice the grits cross ways into 4 pieces.  Place 2 pieces in the center of a 2 plates.  If they are not still warm, pop them in the microwave on the plates for about 30 seconds.

Put the saute' pan back on the heat and add the cream and broth.  Stir to mix well and cook until the liquid reduces by half.  Pour half on each plate on top of the sliced grits.  Set it on the table and have a tasty dinner from reclaimed foods.

This was quick and good and pretty tasty.  I will make it again on my next clean out the fridge day. Never be afraid to throw something together.  If it isn't great, it's just one meal and ,if you're lucky, you might find a new family favorite.

And this is why I save 1 tablespoon of cream and always have homemade chicken broth ice cubes in the freezer.

*I have a 1 1/2 cup porcelain loaf pan so I used it.  This was just for my personal aesthetics.  It would have worked perfectly well by just spooning half of the grits mixture on each plate and spooning the ham mix over it


  1. Looks delicious! But you know, I've never had grits in my life. What do they taste like?

    1. Grits are technically corn kernels that have been soaked in lye, rinsed, dried and ground, so they taste like corn.
      I live in the Deep South and I am pretty sure there is a law that you have to have a package in the house at all times and must eat them for breakfast weekly. They are cooked in liquid and eaten generally as a porridgeish food, served as/with breakfast. Though I have heard occasionally of people putting sugar on theirs and eating it sweet ( If you listen closely you can hear every Southerner reading this cringe right now) they should be eaten hot, salted and peppered with a pat of real butter. ( Grated cheese is acceptable also)

      You can gussie them up with herbs and cheese to make a savory side dish for dinner. Shrimp and Grits is a Southern favorite. This dish is just a play of that.


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