In response to readers who’ve been clamoring for us to run the recipe for Grit Cakes and Smoked Tomato Salsa that we served up at our Light Up The Night event last September in New York City, we’re happy to print it right here. It yields a lot, making it perfect for parties. We’ve kept the cake and salsa recipes separate, so it’ll be easier for you to make a batch of the salsa on its own if you like—it’s fantastic with grilled and roasted meats, fish, and shellfish. Enjoy!
Grit Cakes with Smoked Tomato Salsa
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups stoneground yellow corn grits (such as McEwen and Sons)
2 ears yellow corn
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons canola oil
1. Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in grits; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, remove kernels from corn; pulse corn kernels 3 times in a food processor until roughly chopped. Stir kernels into grits mixture; cook 5 minutes. Combine cream and eggs in a small bowl. Slowly add 1/4 cup grits mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir egg mixture into remaining grits. Pour grits mixture into a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray; level with an off-set spatula. Bake at 300° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool to room temperature. Cover and chill overnight.
3. Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut 35 disks from grits mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add disks in batches; cook 1-2 minutes on each side or until well browned. Serve topped with smoked tomato salsa (recipe follows).
Smoked Tomato Salsa
4 plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 cup cherry wood smoking chips
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Pierce a 13 x 9-inch disposable aluminum baking pan with 10 holes on the far right end. Place holes over gas element on cooktop; top holes, inside of pan, with smoking chips. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, on opposite end of pan. Heat element under holes to medium-high; let burn 1 minute or until chips begin to smoke. Carefully cover entire pan tightly with aluminum foil (pan will be hot); reduce heat to low. Smoke tomatoes 20 minutes.
2. Combine shallot and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Remove smoked tomato halves from pan; chop finely. Add tomato to shallot mixture; stir well. Spoon salsa over grit cakes. SERVES 35 (serving size: 1 grit cake and about 1 teaspoon salsa).
CALORIES 69; FAT 3g (sat 1g, mono 1.3g, poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 1.4g; CARB 9.5g; FIBER 0.6g; CHOL 15mg; IRON 0.4mg; SODIUM 149mg; CALC 6mg