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True grit.

* Polenta, a coarse meal of dried corn, which shows up regularly on fancy menus, is reserved for midday and evening meals. Grits, a slightly different-flavored coarse meal of hominy--a hulled, treated dried corn--gets plebeian canking and is relegated to breakfast. Yet the two have a similar character on the palate and cook the same way. What I see sold as white polenta looks suspiciously like hominy grits, inspiring me to move the latter to the dinner table.

Sour Cream and Green Chili Grits Casserole

PREP AND COOK TIME: 15 to 20 minutes

NOTES: If making casserole through step 2 up to 1 day ahead, increase chicken broth to 2 1/2 cups total; separately, cover casserole and cooked bacon airtight and chill. Reheat casserole on turntable in a microwave oven at full power (100%) until hot in the center, 5 to 8 minutes. Lay crisp bacon slices on casserole.

MAKES: 6 to 8 servings

1 onion (6 oz.), peeled and diced

1 tablespoon butter or bacon fat

1 can (7 oz.) diced green chilies

2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth

1 cup quick-cooking hominy grits

1 1/2 cups sour cream (regular reduced-fat, or nonfat)

Salt

Oven-fried bacon (recipe follows, optional)

1. In a 4- to 5-quart pan over high heat, stir onion in butter until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chilies, chicken broth grits, and sour cream.

2. Stir until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often until mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Pour into a shallow 2-quart casserole.

3. Arrange bacon on sour cream and grits mixture. Serve hot.

Per serving: 192 cal., 52% (99 cal.) from fat; 5.3 g protein; 11 g fat (6.5 g sat.); 20 g carbo (1.6 g fiber); 208 mg sodium; 23 mg chol.

Oven-fried bacon. Lay 1/2 pound sliced bacon in a single layer in a 12- by 17-inch pan. Bake in a 375[degrees] oven until browned and crisp, about 20 minutes. Transfer bacon to towels to drain; discard fat in pan or save for other uses. Use hot or, if making ahead, cool, wrap airtight, and hold at room temperature up to 6 hours or chill up to 1 day; use at room temperature.

Per 1-ounce slice: 46 cal., 76% (35 cal.) from fat; 2.4 g protein; 3.9 g fat (1.4 g sat.); 0 g carbo.; 127 mg sodium; 6.7 mg chol.
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Title Annotation:grits casserole
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 1, 2000
Words:407
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