Fast Hammy Grits


1 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup small-dice, fully cooked ham (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup white or yellow grits (not instant)
2 ounces sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium scallion
Hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tabasco


Combine the water, milk, butter, and measured salt and pepper in a small saucepan with a tightfitting lid. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Whisk the grits into the simmering milk mixture and bring to a boil. Continue to boil without stirring for 1 minute. Cover, remove the pan from the heat, and let sit until the grits are tender, about 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, shred the cheese on the large holes of a box grater (you should have about 3/4 cup). Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the scallion; set aside.

When the grits are ready, uncover and stir to incorporate all of the liquid until the grits are smooth. Sprinkle with two-thirds of the cheese and stir until combined and melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Divide the grits between 2 bowls and sprinkle with the remaining third of the cheese. Top with the reserved ham and scallions and add a few dashes of hot sauce. Serve immediately.

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