2011, Recipe 75: Poached Eggs on Creamy Grits with Creole Sauce

Recipe Courtesy of Chow.com


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits, not instant or quick-cooking
  • 2 cups whole milk, half-and-half, or a combination

Creole Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons bacon drippings, optional
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced celery
  • 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes with juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch or two of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste


  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4 to 8 large eggs
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
n a large heavy saucepan, bring 1 quart water, butter, and salt to a boil. Whisk in the grits a few handfuls at a time. (They will bubble up initially.) When you have added all the grits, reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally at first and more frequently toward the end. After about 30 minutes, or when the grits begin to seem somewhat stiff and give a bit of resistance at the bottom, stir in half the milk, adding the rest about 10 minutes later. Add more salt if you wish near the end of the cooking time. When done, the grits should be slightly soupy but with enough body that they don’t run all over the plate or bowl. The grits can be held briefly over low heat, with a little water or additional milk added to keep them from getting too stiff. 

While the grits simmer, begin the sauce. Warm the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, adding the bacon drippings if you wish for extra flavor. Sprinkle the flour into the pan drippings, stirring to combine, and cook the mixture until it’s a rich, deep brown, about 5 minutes. Watch it carefully and stir frequently, because it can go quickly from the desired shade to burned. Immediately mix in the onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in the stock and tomatoes, add the bay leaf, thyme, and cayenne, and simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

When the grits and sauce are ready, poach the eggs. Fill a broad saucepan with about 2 inches of water, pour in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Break as many eggs as will fit in your pan easily into cups or ramekins. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, then slip the eggs into the water. We prefer to simmer the eggs gently for 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and cover for 2 to 3 minutes. When done, remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat if needed for additional eggs. Trim any ragged edges off the egg whites. 
Spoon a pool of grits into 4 shallow soup bowls or plates, spoon a few tablespoons of sauce around the edge, and nestle an egg or two over the grits. Serve immediately, with the remaining sauce on the side.

Results: This is definitely a weekend recipe.  I always use quick grits.  ALWAYS.  I have no desire to stand by a stove stirring some grits for 50 minutes.  Please.  So you can cut the time of this recipe down significantly.  The sauce?  EVERYTHING!!  So many delicious layers of flavors!  I loved it!  I had some left over so I can't wait to use it again!