grillin’ the most

I can’t tell you people how often I’ve gone into a grocery store with a list, only to leave without at least one item on said list. And not on purpose.

And I should add here, that I am quite the strategic little planner when it comes to grocery shopping. I don’t always shop at the same neighborhood Whole Foods, but in general the layout of most grocery stores is the same. So I write my list according to what I’ll walk through first. I load up on produce and stuff from the dairy/meat section (the outer parts of the store), then my list thins out once I hit the inside of the store to the processed/canned goods. Word on the street is that’s a big deal in eating right.

So with my planning, not only am I increasing the likelihood of “eating right”, but also I’m increasing the likelihood that all the things on my list will be found – especially important for the many times I leave my pen in the car and can’t cross things off.

And yes, I do try to make a list on my iPhone, but I find it hard to walk through the store holding my phone up. It’s almost as bad as texting and walking (I suppose it’s the same as texting and walking, but also pushing a cart, so actually worse). Those are the folks I want to punch in the face, so I figure I should try to stick to the pen and paper.

Anyway, I’d decided to join the hoards of 6:00 shoppers in the downtown area Trader Joe’s last week for a change of scenery, and also because I knew for once I could get everything on my list there without having to go to another grocery store. It was, needless to say, mass chaos. People pushing through to grab the $1.99 arugula and the free samples of artichoke dip, and meanwhile the stockers were pushing their carts through the store with a “kill or be killed” sorta mentality. But no bigs – I went into it knowing it would be crazy, and crazy was what I got. I also ran into Judy! That never happens.

I’d found all of my produce, and then lo and behold, I found totally fresh corn on the cob (meaning, not already shucked and put into plastic containers for a higher price), so I went to put back the other one, and somewhere in the mix I absolutely forgot to grab the fresh corn. So when I got home to make this GRILLED CORN and bean salad, I just had a bunch o’ beans.

Solution? I texted my dear husband and asked for a last minute stop for some corn which, he obliged to, knowing his dinner depended on it. I grilled fresh corn, onions, and jalapeños and tossed them all with beans and tomatoes, and a perfect summer salad (4th of July party, anyone?) was made.

The End.

p.s. Last Friday I posted some 4th of July recipe suggestions. Click here and scroll to the bottom! Happy 4th :).

Grilled Corn & 3 Bean Salad
Adapted from Cooking Light, June 2012; serves ~12

printable version

time commitment: 30 minutes

1 c halved heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 t salt, divided
3 ears shucked corn
1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 jalapeño peppers
1 T olive oil
Cooking spray
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 c fresh lime juice
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 diced peeled avocados
1/2 c queso fresco

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Place the tomatoes in a large bowl, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes.

Brush corn, onion, and jalapeños evenly with oil. Place vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill corn for 12 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 6 minutes. Grill onion slices and jalapeños 8 minutes or until lightly charred, turning after 4 minutes. Let vegetables stand 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cobs (if you’re smart, you’d do this over a bundt pan so corn doesn’t fly everywhere). Coarsely chop onion. Finely chop jalapeño; discard stem. Add corn, onion, and jalapeño to tomato mixture; toss well. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and next 4 ingredients (through kidney beans) to corn mixture; toss well. Top with avocado and queso fresco.

Stewy Indian Giver

ancho pork stew

I’m sorry. I couldn’t do it. I might be what some would call an “Indian giver” (Simps – don’t tell Jon I’m talking about his people). I know, amidst my excitement about the oozing with tastiness triple ginger cookies, that I offered to give you guys control of the next post. As things go, that would have ‘technically’ been this post. You all aren’t all that nitpicky though, are you? Will you forgive me? Forego the little details, pretty please?

pork spice mix

You see, I wholeheartedly intended to write 4 straight posts about all those cookies I made. I really did. But two things happened that caused me to veer a wee bit off track.

  1. I worried that maybe I was just a tad too excited about those cookies, and maybe you are not as excited? I was sorta hoping for a close voting battle, a little competition, for the next cookie post. I mean, I did give you a choice, right – the chance to pick the next cookie? I thought that was cool. I thought ya’ll liked cookies as much as me. But I think I must have been delusional as the voting wasn’t quite the fierceness I was anticipating.
  2. Probably more importantly, I worried about ya’ll being all chilly, teeth chattering in your abodes as you nibbled on little morsels of ginger and sugar cookies and chocolate bark. Morsels that surely fill the cookie tins for the work crowd or your home-snacking desires but definitely do not satisfy the soul. Morsels that don’t stop the shivering and nullify the goosebumps caused by (in these parts, at least) the single digit windchills.

jalapeno corn muffins

You know what will take your temp up a notch or two? Stew – it warms the heart and makes that weather seem like a non-issue. Stew makes you want to wrap your sweatered arms around someone you love and stay indoors all weekend without a care in the world.

Specifically pork stew infused with ancho chile powder – the smells emanating from the kitchen, wafting into all nooks and crannies are enough to make you forget about all those sweet treats and instead focus on those Mexican spices, peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, and hominy – if only for a little while. (And I do mean a little while – this is a straight-up under 1 hour recipe from start to finish. Cook it on Monday – I dare you).

stew and muffin

Not to mention a little palm-sized nugget of corn meal, cheddar cheese, and jalapeno. I love cookies, but I can’t (or shouldn’t, rather) dunk cookies into a glowing bowl of ancho-spiced broth and come out with anything close to what happens when you douse these babies with soup broth. I mean, you can eat them without the stew juices, no doubt, but in some households it’s better to sop up juice with muffins rather than lick the bowl clean with your tongue. Just sayin’. Although, you could do both…

stew and muffin

So yeah, I reneged on the cookie offer. But only temporarily – I promise. I hope you forgive me :). In the meantime, whip yourself up some of this yummy stew and some sauce-soppin’ muffins. I’ll be back next week to share another cookie recipe – and from the looks of the comments so far, I’m guessing it’s gonna be those cardamom-clementine sugar cookies. Ya might wanna bake those up for Santa!

Ancho Pork & Hominy Stew
Adapted from Cooking Light, December 2009; makes 6 servings
300 kcal, 2.1 g sat fat, 28.9 g protein, 6.1 g fiber

printable recipe

2 T ancho chile powder
2 t dried oregano
1 1/2 t smoked paprika
1 t g cumin
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 T olive oil, divided
2 c chopped onion (1 lg yellow onion)
1 1/2 c chopped green bell pepper (1 lg pepper)
1 T minced garlic
1 28-oz can hominy, drained
2 1/2 c low sodium chicken broth
1 14.5-0z can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl (set aside 1.5 t spice mixture) and add in pork, tossing well to coat.

heat 2 t oil in Dutch oven over med-hi heat. add pork and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. remove pork and set aside. add remaining 1 t oil to pan and add onion, pepper, garlic. saute 5 minutes or until tender. return pork to pan. add spice mixture, broth, hominy, tomatoes; bring to a boil. partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes.

Cheddar-Jalapeno Corn Muffins*
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2009; makes 12 muffins

printable recipe

5 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 c yellow cornmeal
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 c corn (fresh or thawed)
1 1/4 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 3/4 c grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and small-diced

spray or butter muffin pans and preheat oven to 425 F with rack in middle.

whisk together cornmeal, salt, baking powder and soda in large bowl.

whisk together corn, buttermilk, egg, melted butter in another bowl and then stir it into the flour mixture until just combined. stir in 1 1/2 c cheese and jalapeno.

divide among muffin tins and top muffins with remaining cheese. bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. cool on rack and serve warm or room temp.

If desired, muffins can be frozen individually on a sheet and put into ziploc freezer bag for individual use 🙂

*Muffins gluten-free, not dairy-free

Wetzel’s Pretzels

stuffed pretzels

Stop drooling. Well, stop just long enough to read, print the recipe, and drool over your own. I’ve been wanting to make pretzels for a while now and all I needed was a teensy weensy shove – or maybe just a little nudge would have done. Either way, here we are.

Maybe you’ve never really thought about this before, but ‘pretzel’ is really the only word I can think of that rhymes with ‘Wetzel’ (my last name…thanks to hubby – my old one was much easier to spell and rhymed with things like ‘fall’, ‘mall’, ‘ball’, and so on). The sad fact of the matter is that I actually have to say something along those lines often when spelling my last name for some idiot on the phone. “Wetzel – like pretzel”. Good times.

And sadly enough, we aren’t related to the lucky owners of the real deal Wetzel’s Pretzels. It’d be so cool if we were though.

risen dough

Although Auntie Anne’s is much better, if you ask me. I do fancy a greasy, jalapeno-studded pretzel every now and then, particularly when shopping at the Woodfield Shopping Center, which I don’t do often. Chris, on the other hand tends to grab a pretzel anytime he sees anything resembling a pretzel vendor – Auntie Anne’s or not. And yes, he prefers those over Wetzel’s too, if you can believe it. He really wants to like theirs better, but it’s utterly impossible.

He even gets the pretzels at the Cubs games or at concerts – the nasty, über salty, room temperature (although generally downright cold) blobs of dough that in my opinion can barely be eaten even when doused in hot melted nacho cheese. I’d honestly rather eat the nacho cheese with my fingers rather than dip those chewy nubbins of briny stiff dough into otherwise perfectly good over-processed cheese.

filled with cheese and ham

That being said, I knew he’d practically swoon over homemade pretzels. And although I’ve meant to find a good recipe for them, I was relieved of that duty when Gourmet magazine’s penultimate edition (sniff, sniff) graciously provided me with a recipe for ‘mini pretzels’. I don’t know about you, but in my mind the only thing better than regular-sized pretzels is lots of mini-pretzels – especially if they’re stuffed with ham & cheese! Don’t they look strangely familiar?

cut into little bites

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. In Chris’ quest to knock out another graduate degree with about ten “sub-degrees”, he can sometimes have a rough week or two, and these last couple really had him in a tizzy. And when he’s in a tizzy, I get to cook. I figured I’d really do it up and make an appetizer, which I only do when we have company. Well, sometimes I’ll make things that can be either appetizers or dinner, and sometimes I’ll make salads, if that counts. But in general, I don’t make dishes specifically meant to be an appetizer.

pretzels - fresh outta the oven

 After scarfing down a handful of these here pretzel bites, I’m beginning to think I might be missing out. Good thing I tucked a few of them into the freezer for safekeeping.

But you – you gotta make your own. You know you wanna.

pretzel bites with mustard sauce


Ham & Cheddar Pretzel Bites w/ Jalapeno Mustard
Adapted from Gourmet, October 2009; makes 4 dozen bites

while these are fine as-is, do not hesitate to use other ‘mix-ins’. bacon would work well as a ham substitute, and there are a list of cheeses to try. i took the liberty of adding more cheese and ham below as i had to chop more halfway through filling :). like jalapenos? these would be great with a little diced jalapeno inside. i bet they’d even be good with a little nutella or chocolate if you’re wanting something more along the lines of dessert.

printable recipe

1.5 t active dry yeast
2 T plus 1 t light brown sugar, divided
1/4 c warm water
1 c warm milk
2 1/2 – 3 c ap flour
1/2 – 1 c country ham
1/2 – 2/3 c sharp cheddar cheese
4 t baking soda
1/2 c Dijon mustard
2 T finely chopped jalapeno (~1 average-size)
1 T honey
1/2 stick melted, unsalted butter (for brushing)
1-2 T coarse salt or pretzel salt


  1. stir together yeast, 1 t brown sugar, and warm water in a large bowl and let stand until foamy (8 minutes or so; no foam = bad yeast).
  2. in a separate bowl, stir remaining brown sugar and warm milk until sugar is dissolved
  3. add 2 1/2 c flour and milk mixture to yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 c more flour if necessary. turn onto lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. transfer to clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. let rise in draft-free place, room temp, for about 2 hours
  4. turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal portions. lightly dust your hands with flour and gently roll and stretch 1 piece into a 12-inch long rope. flatten and roll (with floured pin) into an approximately 12×4 inch rectangle. press 1/4 of cheese and ham into lower third of rectangle, leaving a 1/2 inch border at bottom. stretch bottom up and over filling and roll tightly. cut into 12 1-inch pieces and transfer to sheet pan. repeat 3 more times. let rest at room temp for 30 minutes
  5. preheat oven to 400 F. line two sheet pans with parchment paper or silpat and bring a large pot of water to boil
  6. once water is boiling, reduce heat and add baking soda, stirring to dissolve. cook pretzel bites in batches in gently simmering water, turning over once, about 20 seconds. bites will slightly puff up. transfer with slotted spoon to baking sheets
  7. bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. that cheese will be oozing and looking yummy
  8. meanwhile, stir together mustard, honey, and jalapeno
  9. brush just-baked bites with melted butter and sprinkle with salt

*if desired, you can freeze these little suckers, once cooled. thaw them for ~30 minutes and bake for about 10 to reheat

Watch Out Bobby, it’s Time to Grill it

Emily and her corn

There aren’t too many things, in my mind, that are better than the weeks before summer. Well, summer itself, of course. But the weeks before, the days when the sun finally comes out from winter hibernation and the coats stay home, are the best. They’re the best because it’s those days that get you amped-up and ready for all things to come.

Things like grilling, the beach, and visiting friends and family. If you’re lucky, having them visit you too. For the second year, we spent Memorial Day weekend in Hilton Head and were happily able to accomplish all three of the above. It’s a nice treat for me since moving to Chicago, as the “beaches” here just aren’t the same as those where I grew up and spent practically every weekend. Vacations get cut short when you’ve gotta get back to the city to get your cook on, but nonethless we managed to kick back and relax, soak up some rays, log-in some family time, and of course – eat like it didn’t matter.

Atlantic sky

Red Fish is our favorite restaurant on the island (not that we’ve been to many, but why bother?), and we definitely voted for a re-visit this year. Their specialty, as if their name didn’t give it away, is fish. Most dishes have a Caribbean-type influence. To top it off, they have an excellent wine selection and mini wine shop in-house. I was really jealous of the sea bass dish last year (not that mine was bad by any stretch, though now I don’t recall what that dish was), and so this year I had to have it. Stay tuned for the post when I learn to perfect the recipe. But don’t hold your breath.

avocado relish

While the dinner at Red Fish and the brunch at Signe’s were both delectable, I didn’t pass up the offer to cook while on vacation. We usually celebrate my mother in law’s birthday over this trip, so I was asked to make dinner for that night. And this year, this was a big one for her, so I was more than happy to cook and let her enjoy the grandkids. Since we’d already eaten seafood, I opted for another fresh, summery idea and made a marinated flank steak with avocado relish, allowing us to take advantage of fresh cool ingredients and the poolside grill. Plus, the guys felt as if they contributed since they got to do the grilling, which Chris claims is “his territory”. I say, “no fair” ’cause I like grilling too.

grilled corn and peppers

Dinner was a hit, with the grown-ups and (as you can see) the kids. While packed with flavor, this dish is super simple to put together – which is great if you’re in a new (and less-stocked with things like your favorite chef’s knife, microplane zester, and bamboo butcher block – thank you rubber stopper) kitchen. The avocado relish was a perfect counterpart to the flank steak, which was juicy, tender, and had the faintest taste of lime and avocado from the rub/marinade. The relish is great for leftovers, and can stand in for salsa any day. That being said, it isn’t a bad idea to make extra. What about the peppers, you say? They were just dandy. Roasted over the stovetop (for ease – they’d be just as great roasted in the oven or on the grill), peeled, cut, and sauteed in cilantro butter. Corn? Painted w/ lime juice, avocado oil and grilled and served with more melted cilantro butter.

And vacation? Not bad either! As all of them, just a wee bit too short. But given my inability to correctly apply sunscreen, I think another day at the beach would not have been wise for me anyway… Take home message – don’t forget your neck, unless you want to be a poser red-neck. tee hee hee.

grilled flank steak

Grilled Flank Steak w/ Avocado Relish
Adapted from Cooking Light, May 2009; serves 4

lime rind from 2-3 limes, divided
4 t avocado oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
1 1lb flank steak
2 avocados, peeled & medium-diced
2-3 plum tomatoes, juiced & medium-diced
1/4 cup medium-diced red onion
1 small-diced jalepeno, seeded if you don’t like the heat
juice of one lime
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
lime wedges, for garnish

1. Combine 2/3 of lime rind through garlic in small bowl. Score a diamond-shaped pattern on both sides of steak and rub mixture onto both sides. Place in large zip-lock bag or bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

2. Preheat grill to med-hi. Grill on each side for about 5 minutes (for medium-rare). Let sit about 5 minutes and cut in small slices, across the grain.

3. Meanwhile, combine avocados through cilantro as well as remaining 1/3 of rind. Season to taste. Serve with grilled steak and lime wedges.

On Friends & Grits

kris and me

I took a trip back to NC late Friday night to be with my bestest bud. She’d had surgery this past Thursday. Did she expect me to be there? No. Did she want me to be there? Well, maybe, but she would have never asked. But did I want to be there and know that I really did need to be there? You bet – and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Although I know we’re far in distance, I know I’m never too far to be there when I need to be.

My best friend and I for the most part, we grew up together. I’ve known her since the 4th grade and I must say, we’ve been pretty tight. We’ve been through a bunch of rough times and an overwhelmingly number of even better times. We have both changed immensely over those years and if I must say, we’ve both become people we are both pretty darn proud of. On the other hand, we’ve become radically different and of course we have a lot less in common than we did when we were wandering down the halls in high school. But through all of those changes, our love of and respect for one another has never wavered.

While we have always respected one another’s opinions and decisions, we definitely do not always agree. In particular, her recent surgery is a decision I could have never made. She’d decided months ago to undergo gastric bypass surgery. My best friend is the type of person who, when she does something, she does it with her entire heart and she never looks back. And making this choice is no exception. I think, rather I know, that we talked about it for 90% of every conversation we’ve had since Fall! It was the first thing on her mind in the morning, before bed, and every minute in between. She was totally intensely passionate about it. So you know she was dead-set on doing it. And although the thought of her having surgery worried me silly, I knew that for her to make this decision she must have known what she was doing and knew everything about what was involved. She’d researched and researched until she knew with certainty that this was right for her and that she was ready for all things that would follow. And for me this was comforting – I knew she’d be ok and I knew she was doing the right thing. The right thing for her.

Would gastric bypass surgery ever be something I’d consider? Would I ever want to make my stomach small so that I can eat less? Hell no. I have such a strong relationship with food – and it’s a bond I could never ever break. While she will eventually be able to eat most things she’d previously eaten, she can’t eat nearly as much and will essentially be limited to 2 oz portions per meal. Wowsers!! And no thank you. That’s just like a big bite per meal! Now, is food one of the most favoritist things in her life like it is for me? Well, no. Is she spending three nights a week in culinary school just because she likes food and because she can? Well, no. But still. I’m sure that nonetheless, it’s got to be hard. Although I can never imagine making this choice for my life, the simple fact that she is my best friend means that I support her no matter what decision she makes. I smile at her, I hug her, I rub lotion on her feet, I watch her sip won ton-less won ton soup while I inhale vegetable lo mein and a greasy egg roll, I watch Food Network with her (why she chooses to watch this given her situation is beyond me), and all the while I think about how strong she is and how even though I could never do what she’s doing, how much respect I have for her just knowing that she will be ok and that, if it’s possible, she’ll be even better of a person than she is today.

And so, a trip to NC usually leads me to a point where I’d talk about a tasty, fatty, greasy meal I enjoyed while I was here. Usually when I go to NC for a holiday or weekend trip, we plan visits around the food that we miss: we hit up Bojangles for some dirty rice and fried chicken, we visit my gramma at which time we also incorporate a visit to my Aunt Faye, we find some sweet tea, and if I’m lucky one day I might get to eat at Bandido’s again for my favorite black bean quesadilla. This weekend, you might imagine, was different. I stayed with her as much as possible and only left her side to get some take-out. Food was not the highlight of this trip. But something much more important was – being there for my best friend, and even if she didn’t need me I know she was happy I was there. And on a more selfish level, I needed to be there to further confirm that I knew she was ok. To stop myself from thinking about it constantly. And maybe the procedure itself is straightforward, it’s one thing to hear about someone you don’t know going through it than it is to know that the person you share all of your secrets with is going through it. It takes a lot for her to cry, and a lot less for me, and we both did when we saw each other and I knew instantly I’d made the right decision for the both of us.

So do I have a wonderful recipe of Southern foodie experience from this trip like I usually would? Nope. But I will post a recipe I made the other day that reminded me of home. It was a lovely stuffed bone-in pork chop with tomato sauce and GRITS! The grits are the southern part that made me so happy. Leftovers were even better because the sauce had really soaked in to the grits and pork. There are a lot of ingredients and lots of prep, so feel free to substitute the stuffing (or even leave it out) if you don’t love cutting and prepping like I do.

And whether you make this recipe or something else tonight, may you really savor every bite and be thankful for the day. And for your large stomach 🙂 I know I am.

stuffed chops

Stuffed Pork Chops w/ Creamy Grits
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

4 cups water
4 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup coarsely chopped jalapeño pepper (about 2 peppers)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons fine sea salt
4 (8-ounce) bone-in center-cut heritage pork chops (such as Berkshire)
2 slices bacon
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/4 cup finely diced apple
1/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled butternut squash
1/4 cup finely chopped Swiss chard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon minced jalapeño pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup no-salt-added canned whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped

2 1/2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup stone-ground grits
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium beef broth

1. To prepare pork, combine first 5 ingredients in an airtight container, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add pork; seal and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove pork from brine; pat dry. Discard brine.

2. Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; crumble. Add 1/2 cup onion and next 5 ingredients (through 1 minced garlic clove) to drippings in pan; cook 8 minutes or until squash is tender and liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Stir in bacon.

3. Cut 1 (1-inch) horizontal slit through thickest portion of each pork chop to form a pocket. Stuff about 3 tablespoons vegetable mixture into each chop. Sprinkle both sides of chops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove pork from pan; reduce heat to medium-low.

4. To prepare sauce, add 1 1/2 cups onion to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add celery, jalapeño, and 1 garlic clove to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 cup water, stirring until flour dissolves. Add tomatoes; increase heat to medium-high. Return pork to pan; simmer 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

5. To prepare grits, bring 2 1/2 cups water and 1/8 teaspoon salt to boil in a saucepan. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in butter and 2 tablespoons broth. Serve with pork and sauce.