You certainly don’t have to worry about getting “real food” at Grits & Groceries. Heidi, Joe and their friendly staff provide plenty of great tasting, familiar and not-so-familiar extremely yummy fare at their cozy historic building at Saylors Crossroads (the junction of 185 and 284 near Belton, SC).

Having owned and/or worked in restaurants in New Orleans for a number of years, Heidi and Joe came back to their Carolina roots to raise their son, Tom, in familiar surroundings. And we are the beneficiaries of that decision.

Take a drive to Belton and discover one of the area’s culinary treasures. Visit Grits & Groceries for directions and menus. You’ll be glad you made the trip!

Thanks to Heidi and Joe, we are able to share some fabulous recipes with you. Comments after some of the recipes are from Heidi.


CreoleJambalaya

CREOLE JAMBALAYA

1 1⁄2 lbs. chopped cooked chicken 1 Tablespoon butter
3⁄4 cup chopped onion
1⁄2 cup chopped celery
1⁄4 cup chopped green peppers
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups fully cooked ham, cubed
1 (29 oz.) can tomatoes, un-drained, cut up 1 (11 oz.) can beef broth plus 1 can water
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed 1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, green pepper, parsley and garlic. Cover and cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Yield: 6-8 servings

Jambalaya, a traditional “Louisiana Dish” grew out of early French and Spanish Louisiana. (Jambalaya comes from “jamba” which means ham [but not necessarily] and Spanish paella). Jambalaya is cooked in big black iron pots – originally used for boiling syrup from sugar cane. Jambalaya is always cooked over an open wood fire outdoors, and boat oars are used for stirring. Don’t let that deter you; jambalaya can be cooked at home on the range. It’s a lot easier.

BlueCheeseCountryHamBalls

CLEMSON BLUE CHEESE AND COUNTRY HAM BALLS

1 cup Clemson Blue Cheese 1 cup pimento Cheese
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened 1 cup of country ham
1 cup crushed potato chips
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup flour
1 cup egg wash (
1⁄2 cup beaten eggs and 1⁄2 cup milk) Deep fryer

Fry the country ham in a skillet until crisp. Finely chop the ham, then mix with the Clemson Blue Cheese, pimento cheese and the softened cream cheese. Combine the crushed potato chips and bread crumbs in a bowl. Set up your breading station: flour, egg wash, breadcrumb mixture. Using a small scoop, make balls of the cheese mixture then send them through your breading station. Deep fry until golden brown and serve with Pepper Jelly. Yield: approximately 16 balls

FriedCheeseGrits

FRIED CHEESE GRITS AND TOMATO GRAVY

Leftover Cheese Grits
Grits and Groceries Seasoned Fish Fry for dusting Vegetable oil for frying
Tomato Gravy

Spread leftover cheese grits in a Pyrex pan so they are 1-inch thick. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Cut the grits into 2-inch squares. Remove the squares from the pan and dust with Seasoned Fish Fry. Heat the oil in a skillet and pan fry the cheese grits squares until browned on both sides. Plate and top with Tomato Gravy. Yield: Serves 6-8

TOMATO GRAVY
1⁄4 lb. butter
2 Tablespoons bacon fat
1 leek, sliced thin
4 oz. country ham, diced
1 teaspoon Grits and Groceries
Low Country Seasoning*
1 10 3/4oz. can Cream of Chicken Soup 1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes

*Available online at www.gritsandgroceries.com

In a saucepan, fry the leek and diced ham in the butter and bacon fat. When the leak is tender, add the Low Country Seasoning, cream of chicken soup and the crushed tomatoes. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. If the gravy gets too thick, add water to adjust consistency. Serve over anything. Yield: 6-8 servings

Tomato Gravy started off as a pig tails dish that never went over very well. I loved it and the two people that ordered it loved it. Everyone else loved just the Tomato Gravy, so I modified the dish to use country ham instead of pig tails. You can serve the gravy over fried grits, pork chops or your shoe and it will taste good!

PralineBacon-1

PRALINE BACON

16 strips bacon
2 cups brown sugar 1 cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lay strips of bacon in a single layer on foil-lined cookie sheets. Bake until lightly done, but not crispy. Remove from the oven and carefully pour off the bacon fat. Combine brown sugar and pecans in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground and mixed with the brown sugar. Generously sprinkle each strip of bacon with the brown sugar mixture and return to the oven. Bake until it is crispy and the sugar has begun to melt. Yield: 4 servings

What could be better than a piece of crispy, country fresh bacon? Praline bacon! Thick-sliced country fresh bacon, sprinkled with brown sugar and pecans, slow roasted in the oven. This is the recipe I came up with when I was trying to decide how I could make a slice of bacon even more decadent.

AppleCake

CORNMEAL APPLE CAKE

CAKE
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups whole buttermilk
1 1/2 cups Cider Cooked Apples

GLAZE
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup whole buttermilk 1/3 cup fresh apple cider 1/3 cup molasses
3/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a nine-inch tube cake pan and set aside. Sift flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the oil and sugar and beat until combined and smooth; add the eggs and beat until the eggs are completely incorporated into the mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Add the vanilla and the cooked apples and mix until well combined. Pour cake batter into prepared pan and place in the middle of the preheated oven; bake for 45 minutes, turn the cake, and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. Mix all ingredients for glaze together in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for ten minutes and remove from heat. Pour over hot cake, in the pan, when it comes out of the oven. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack. When completely cooled, turn out onto serving plates. Serve with a dollop of fresh cinnamon whipped cream. Enjoy! Yield: (1) 9-inch cake

CIDER COOKED APPLES

6 cups 1/4 inch thick sliced Granny Smith apples 3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons cane syrup
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup fresh apple cider
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup bourbon

In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the bourbon and cornstarch; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until apples become tender, but not mushy. Dissolve the cornstarch in the bourbon and stir into apples, and cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. These are good served over pancakes and waffles or baked in a pie as well as used in making Cornmeal Apple Cake and apple fritters. Yield: 4 cups

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