Dinner Party-Worthy Grits

I bought some White's Mill stone-ground white grits this weekend on our trip to Damascus and Abingdon, VA (more on that later).  My mom and I serve baked cheese grits as a side on our go-to dinner party menu all the time, but these are worthy of center stage:

Stone-ground cheese grits with andouille sausage, roasted tomatoes, sauteed kale and corn. Dinner-party perfect because 1) Look at all those colors and 2) Other than minding the grits, it's easy.

Here's what I did (roughly):

Stone ground grits cooked with 2% milk, water and a splash of 1/2 and 1/2. I added milk as they cooked up, but I might alternate milk and water next time as they were a little too thick for my taste. When the grits are soft and the liquid absorbed, add about a tablespoon of butter and a mix of sharp white cheddar, parmesan and ground black pepper to taste.

Drizzle the cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil and roast on a baking sheet in the oven at 425F for about 8 minutes, until they burst and look golden. Set aside.

Add a slug of olive oil to a skillet and toss in some chopped up pre-cooked andouile sausage (like Aidells). Cook over med-high until it browns.  Scoop the sausage out of the skillet and onto paper towels to drain.  Add washed, de-veined and chopped kale (I like lacinato kale for this), 1 chopped garlic clove and a handful of corn (cooked fresh or frozen) to the skillet and cook until the corn browns and the kale crisps up.
Plate the grits topped with kale and corn, then sausage and top each with a few roasted tomatoes. I added some Tabasco to the top of the grits before the toppings because the MM and I like a little heat to balance the creaminess of the grits (this is my secret for macaroni and cheese too, btw).

Bon Appetit!

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