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
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...
you...you.... you...you...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
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
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.
For the Southern Version, replace Pace
(10 ounce can of Petite Diced Tomatoes and
Green Chilies), with 10 ounce can of Petite
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
Do you have a favorite camp recipe? Or neat
cooking method? Share them with us here!