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Cheddar-Cheese Grits with Spicy Black Beans

Yield 4
Southern and Southwestern ingredients unite in this sustaining meal of beans, peppers, and tomatoes over the best grits you will ever eat. If you don't have the quick-cooking variety, use regular and follow the instructions on the package.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Cayenne
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1/4 pound cheddar, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch squares
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch squares
  • 6 scallions including green tops, sliced thin
  • 2 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans (one 19-ounce can)
  • 1/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped

How to Make It

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter, the Tabasco, paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the grits in a slow stream, whisking. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the grits are very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Cover to keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over moderate heat. Add the bell peppers and scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the beans are hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes. Serve over the cheese grits.

  3. Wine Recommendation: The robust and varied flavors in this dish want a big, spicy, and fruity red wine to match their intensity. Zinfandel seems to have an affinity for black beans, and a sturdy example from the Napa Valley will suit these grits and beans well.

Quick from Scratch Vegetable Main Dishes