Send Your Recipes!

May 23rd, 2005

Spring fever? Thinking about the first camping of the season? Time to change gears again! How about some good camp food. What are you hungry for? Send your favorite recipes to us!

Tomato Grits (Tex-Mex Version)
(From Parnelli's Recipe Box)
by Steven H. McGarthwaite

In my 27 years of duty in the U. S. Army, I spent more time south of the "Mason-Dixie Line" then north of it! So I got to appreciate the finer foods of Southern Cuisine. Also somewhere along the line, I was tasked to redeem a Army Dining Facility (Mess Hall), where 1000 soldiers were very vocal about the terrible food (slop) they had to try and eat.

So with my Commander's Approval and given Carte Blanc, I attempted to serve the troops some "Home Cooking." First thing I did was take the Army Recipe Box, empty the box of its contents and burned all the recipes. Good food was coming in the back door off the trucks, but somewhere between the back door and the serving line there was a problem. I suspected the Recipe Box was the major culprit, along with some cooks who did not know how to boil water (I also placed under lock and key, all the hot sauce bottles the cooks seemed to add to everything they were cooking).

Then I posted a request for "Family Recipes" from the soldiers, and received thousands upon thousands of recipes. I had the cooks make up each recipe (following the recipes, exactly as received) and had select volunteer soldiers (I need 8 volunteers, you you...and you!), who rated the recipes that were presented to them. From these taste tests the new collection of recipes for the Recipe Box was created.

Here is a recipe for Tomato Grits, I think these are some of the best grits you will ever taste, great for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner. So try some (following the recipe the first time to the letter, then you can change things!). Okay?

6 to 8 servings.


2 cup water.
1-1/4 cups milk.
1 teaspoon salt.
1 cup quick cooking grits (quick grits work best).
1/2 cup unsalted butter.
1/3 cup diced green onions.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter.
4 ounces processed cheddar cheese, cubed (suggested brands: Velveeta).
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
2-cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
1-1/4 diced tomatoes and green chilies (suggested: Pace or a 10 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes and green chilies).


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  • In a small bowl, add the grits, and 1-cup of water, stir and leave, letting the grits absorb some of the water.

  • Using a skillet, saute the onions in the remaining tablespoon of butter for 1 minute.

  • In a saucepan, bring the 1-cup of water and 1-1/4 cup of milk to a boil.

  • Add the salt and slowly add the grits mixture and return to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

  • Reduce the heat to low - medium heats (I hate burned grits), cover, and cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly.

  • Add the 1/2-cup of unsalted butter, stir until butter is melted.

  • Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the grits are thick and creamy, stirring periodically.

  • Add the processed cheese, garlic powder, 1-cup sharp cheddar, and onions to grits, and stir until the cheese is melted.

  • Add the tomatoes and mix well.

  • Remove from heat and set aside.

  • Pour the grits into a greased 8 inch by 11 inch by 2-inch casserole and bake for 35 minutes.

  • Sprinkle remaining 1-cup sharp cheddar over the casserole for 5 minutes of cooking time.

    Southern Version:

    For the Southern Version, replace Pace (10 ounce can of Petite Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies), with 10 ounce can of Petite Diced Tomatoes.


    If you want to skip the baking in a casserole dish part of the directions, just add the 2 cups of Sharp Cheddar to the pot, and stir the tomato grits mixture until the cheddar starts melting.

    Continue to cook covered for 30 minutes, over low - medium heat, stirring periodically. ~ ~ Parnelli

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