Blackened Steak and Grits with Roasted Corn, Tomatoes and Jalapenos

Blackened steak with cheese grits

It was one of those days of going 5000 mph and no time to make it to the grocery store and too much for everyone else to do to go out to eat. So, what is your option? You scrounge through your refrigerator and pantry and pull out anything you think might go together.

It was one of those nights for me the other day, but while the kids did homework and the husband kept working, I ‘threw’ this together like I had just opened my basket of secret ingredients on Chopped!!

I found some fresh from the farm grits, steak, grape tomatoes, corn on the cob, jalapenos, and cheese. Hmmmmm. I love shrimp and grits, why not steak and grits?!

This is why it is so important to have a well stocked pantry and fridge. When you have a minute, you should look at the non-recipe content on McNack’s. There is a whole bunch of great tips out there for the home cooks.

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Time Required: Prep and Cook Time – 45min – 1 hour

Ingredients for 4 people:

4 small steaks of your choice of cut

1 1/2 cups grits (not instant, PLEASE!!)

1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes

2 Jalapenos

4 ears of corn

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper

Panko Bread crumbs

2T Butter

1T Garlic Powder

Blackening seasoning (yes Denise, I made my own with a mix of whatever I felt like – I think it was chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne (left that off the kids steaks), paprika, salt and pepper)

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:

Whisk

Good Grits – I was using grits from Blizzard Branch Milling Company but these Palmetto grits are really good too. I prefer the yellow grits.

How to make blackened steak and grits:

You have to start with what will take the longest and in this situation – that is the grits. Mine called for 1 cup of grits to 5 cups of water (so 1.5 cups grits is 7.5 cups water). I got the water started, added some salt and moved to the next items while I waited for the water to boil.

Next up, I started the grill to roast the corn and jalapenos. While it was getting hot, I shucked the corn, washed the tomatoes and jalapenos and shredded the cheese.

By then the water was boiling so I SLOWLY added the grits and whisked them into the water. When they returned to a boil, I reduced the heat to a simmer and stirred frequently with the whisk.

Now the grill is hot, so I added the ears of corn. I just wanted to get some color on them and cook them through. I then turned on the oven to 450 degrees, greased a small casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray, added the tomatoes with some salt, pepper and about 1/2 cup of the panko bread crumbs on top. Drizzled with a bit of olive oil and placed in the oven.

Don’t forget to whisk the grits!

Ok, so I added the seasoning to the steaks and threw them on the grill. They were not very thick so they would only take about 10 minutes to cook. The corn was done so I removed it from the grill to let cool a bit.

I stirred the grits some more with that whisk! They will take about 45 mins to an hour to cook through (at least mine did – about 45 minutes) and absorb the water to the consistency I like. When they seem to be getting close, taste them and add some salt as desired. Then add the garlic powder and cheese.

When the steaks come off the grill, let them rest in a rimmed bowl or baking sheet to capture the juices. Then you can add the jalapenos (whole) to the grill. Again we want to get a nice char on them because that tastes good and looks good too.

The corn should be cool so you can cut it off the cob into a bowl. Then slice the meat. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and the jalapenos from the grill and you are ready to plate.

I used a shallow bowl and filled with the cheese grits. Then I topped with some sliced steak and poured a bit of the juices on top. Then add the roasted corn, tomatoes and jalapenos et Voila!

Dig in!! I left the cayenne off the kids steaks and the jalapenos out of their bowls. They loved it too!

Important Tips:

Whisk and whisk and whisk the grits some more. No one likes lumpy grits.

Variations:

Sure – change the cheese in the grits. Change the protein. Change the vegetables. Whatever floats your boat. Trust yourself. Just don’t be like Rachel in Friends and put peas in your trifle and you’ll be ok!

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