Christmas is coming, and the Squad will be hosting the family dinner this year. We are already at work planning the menu. The main course will be medallions of venison tenderloin with a port wine and juniper berry reduction. As sides, there will be haricots verts with shallots and our new invention, sweet potato grits.
We are big fans of polenta. We make it with our homemade chicken stock then make it extra creamy with cheese. We’re bad Southerners though; we don’t make grits that often. Since our theme this year is a modern Southern Christmas, we wanted to work in grits. By incorporating sweet potatoes in the dish, we gave it the creaminess we like in our polenta.
- 2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 6 tbsp butter
- 2 cups stone ground yellow grits
- 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp candied ginger
- Peel sweet potatoes. Cut into cubes and cover with water in a large pot with candied ginger. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling potatoes for 30 minutes.
- Drain potatoes and reserve liquid, adding water to bring liquid to 7 cups. Return liquid to pot and bring to a boil.
- Add grits in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
- Keeping grits on low heat, add butter, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice and nutmeg to grits and blend thoroughly until butter is melted.
- Mash sweet potatoes in a separate bowl with whipping cream.
- Add potatoes to grits and blend.
- Stir in maple syrup and molasses and continue to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Grits will have a thick, pudding-like consistency.