I’m a big talker.
See, I like to ponder aloud things that I should do or will do when I have time. Somehow, that magical window of opportunity vanishes before most of my plans come to fruition. Turbo has gotten wise to my wolf-crying ways and either ignores my grand plans or encourages me to put my money where my mouth is.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Happily, I’ve found a group of friends who share this somewhat debilitating behavior trait. Apparently when people like this get together, the plans get bigger and even less attainable. We’ve intended to visit apple orchards, hold weekly happy hours, host Christmas cookie swaps and so on. To date, one of the few plans we’ve managed to execute is a trip to Ketner’s Mill Fair.
The event is nothing spectacular – a large “country arts fair” with a boat load of crafts, questionable fair food, exceptional people watching and stone ground grits – made on site by their large mill…hence the name. I’ve got a bag of them in the pantry.
And that, boys and girls, is how this recipe was born.
A little perusing on one of my favorite sites unearthed a delicious dairy-laden recipe, which I modified. Any God-fearing Southerner would be appaled to know I made grits without butter or cream, but it’s true. And neither Turbo nor I missed it. I may have to return my citizenship for that comment but I stand by it. The mushrooms and broth give plenty of richness, and a teensy bit of almond milk gives enough “cream” to the sauce.
So here you go my dairy-free friends…mangia!
(That’s Italian for “eat until your pants get tight.”)
First, I boiled both beef and chicken stock with wine in a heavy saucepan – aka my cast iron skillet – until reduced.
Then I sauteed strips of chicken with a little rosemary, thyme and oregano. I didn’t measure (sorry) but just sprinkle until the aroma makes you swoon in anticipation.
Add some prosciutto. I like saying prosciutto. Has a nice ring to it, no? But if you can’t find it, any pork product will do like bacon, serrano ham or pancetta (Italian bacon).
Once browned, set aside and try to keep any shifty looking kitchen loiterers at bay. (Turbo is an incurable picker.)
Guess I can’t blame him. Next, it’s mushroom time…
Mmm. Golden brown. Then add your reduced broth and a little bit of almond milk. I recommend not confusing your regular almond milk for vanilla flavored. I did.
We still ate it. It was pretty good.
Anyway, let this delicious concoction simmer until reduced to sauce consistancy. It’s not going to be super thick because of the lack of cream, but give it about 10 minutes or so. If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can whisk in about 1 tablespoon of flour.
Word of caution, the flour turned into tiny little lumps in my sauce. I tried mashing them with a fork but it was tedious so I just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. They must have disolved because it tasted delicious but just wanted to warn you. For that reason, flour is optional.
Meanwhile, start the grits by pouring them into boiling water and stirring.
Stir OFTEN with a whisk until thick.
Add your chicken and prosciutto back to the mushroom sauce and season with salt and pepper.
Once grits are done, spoon onto plates and top with chicken/mushroom combination.
Recipe: Serves 2
- 1/2 cup grits
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup beef stock or canned beef broth
- 1 cup chicken stock or low-salt canned chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 3-4 slices prosciutto
- 1 boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 8-10 shitake or button mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or rice or soy)
- 1 Tbsp flour (optional)
- Rosemary, thyme, oregano to taste
- Olive oil
Boil beef and chicken broths with wine in heavy saucepan until reduced to 1 cup (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
Sautee chicken in olive oil (two turns of the pan) with rosemary, thyme and oregano. When browned on both sides (about 5 minutes) add proscuitto and cook until browned. Transfer to plate with slotted spoon. Add mushrooms to same skillet and sautee until golden (about 4 minutes). Add stock mixture and milk and simmer until reduced to sauce consistancy (about 10 minutes). If you prefer thicker mixture, whisk in flour. Season with salt and pepper.
To cook grits, whisk into boiling water and stir frequently with wire whisk until thick (about 30 minutes).
Spoon grits onto plate and top with chicken/mushroom mixture.