eggs with pea-grits with cheese

fried eggs with pea-grits with cheese and bacon

A poor boy's breakfast, a pauper's breakfast if you like, where pauper means ridiculously luxuriant. Two gigantic eggs, and that's gotta hurt, white popcorn coffee grinder-milled grits with frozen peas and Parmigiano cheese, and bacon baked traditionally in a countertop convection/microwave oven. It's been a dog's age since I bought frozen peas. They're fun. I'm going to start putting them in everything.

I added cayenne red pepper and Madras curry in with the grits because for some reason I can not seem to help myself. And butter, of course. Oh, the liquid was canned chicken broth, no-class I know, and water. I used 1:2 milled corn kernels to liquid then kept adjusting with water to keep the consistency I wanted. Added cheese off the heat (it's already a processed product and tends to separate otherwise. Ya gotta be careful with cheese, it's not always forgiving). These home-milled grits, they're funny. Nothing happens until they boil, and they boil quickly, then BAM! they're thick and apparently done. I never trust them to be done, though, so I keep cooking on low until the other things are finished.

You can press cooked grits or polenta onto wax paper and let it cool, or pour it into a greased or sprayed container to whatever thickness you like. It thickens further. Cut it into wedges of your own design, use a cookie cutter if you choose. Triangles. Rectangles. Discs. Gingerbread men. Whatever. Spray those specialty cutters and make smiley faces. Amuse your children or your date. Play with your food. Then fry in butter and serve.

I've taken up a habit while entertaining that I intend to keep doing and that has nothing to do with breakfast, pauper's or otherwise. When a dish calls for bacon, bake up 3 X extra. When guests arrive and you're busy, offer some of the bacon as if it were hors d oeuvres. Makes 'em feel naughty, or at least special, like they're getting away with something their parents never allowed. Once I even had one guest tell another, "STOP EATING ALL THAT OR THERE'LL BE NOTHING LEFT FOR THE DISH!" Ha ha ha ha ha. Little did he know that was all anticipated. Same thing goes for cheese. Flexibility is a sign of a good host.

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