A traditional southern breakfast does fill a tummy up with hearty food!
Redeye gravy is really just a quick ham au jus that is made by deglazing the pan with water, coffee or chicory. Spicy jalapenos and Chihuahua Cheese add a nice flavor to grits. Mushroom scrambled eggs are delicious in the morning.
It was not that long ago, when the daughters of a southern family would gather wild edible mushrooms at daybreak. Morning wild edible mushroom gathering used to be a tradition.
Years ago, grocery stores were small mercantile general stores and they were a place to only buy essentials. The food on the table was fresh from the land. Neighboring farm families shared what they grew in a friendly social way. Bulk produce was hauled off to shipping points by wagon or hay truck. Local farmers set up shop on the roadside or in town to sell the best of their produce to passers by or the citizens of the town. Farm fresh food used to be an item that did not cost extra money.
If you use a southern style dry cured ham for this recipe, then it is necessary to soak the ham slices in water to leach out the excess salt. I am living in Chicago for now and southern style dry cured ham is not readily available here, but standard Smithfield cured ham is stocked. I cooked a piece of Smithfield regular standard light brine cured ham steak with the bone attached for this recipe. Having the bone on a ham slice does make it easier to make a good redeye gravy.
Jalapeno Chihuahua Cheese Grits Recipe:
Heat 2 cups of water in a sauce pot over high heat.
Add about 3/4 cup of old fashioned stone ground hominy grits. (Do not use instant grits. They are better off used for wallpaper paste than food!)
Add sea salt and black pepper.
Add 1 chopped green jalapeno pepper.
Stir the grits with a whisk.
When the grits start to absorb the water and thicken, reduce the temperature to low heat.
Simmer the grits and stirr occasionally. Add water if necessary.
When the grits become cooked soft and become a medium thick corm meal mush texture, add 1/4 cup of chopped Chihuahua Cheese while stirring.
Stir till the cheese is combined with the grits.
Keep the grits warm over very low heat.
Ham Steak and Redeye Gravy Recipe:
Heat a saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 pat of unsalted butter.
Add a thick 8 to 12 ounce ham steak with the bone attached. (A nice standard cured Virginia Smithfield ham steak or southern dry cured ham steak is best for this recipe.)
Grill the ham on both sides, till brown highlights appear.
Add about 3/4 cup of water, coffee or chicory. (I used coffee to make the redeye gravy in the photographs.)
Deglaze the pan.
Remove the ham from the pan after the liquid begins to boil.
Set the ham on a plate and keep it warm on a stove top.
Simmer and reduce the jus, till only a few tablespoons remain.
Set the redeye gravy aside and keep it warm.
Mushroom Eggs Recipe:
Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 3 pats of unsalted butter.
Add 2 to 3 sliced mushrooms. (Portabella field mushrooms are nice for this recipe.)
Saute the mushrooms.
Place 2 eggs in a mixing bowl.
Add 1 small splash of cream.
Whisk the egg mixture, till it becomes blended.
When the mushroms become tender, add the egg mixture.
Scramble and cook the eggs with the mushrooms, till the eggs are fully cooked.
Ham Steak, Mushroom Eggs and Jalapeno Chihuahua Cheese Grits with Redeye Gravy:
Place the mushroom eggs on a plate.
Place the ham steak on the plate.
Place the jalapeno cheese grits onto the plate.
Pour a little bit of the thin redeye gravy over the grits and the ham.
A hearty flavorful southern style breakfast with fancy grits! All the flavors on this plate go well together. I do prefer chicory over coffee for making redeye gravy. When southern dry cured ham is used to make redeye gravy, all you need to make the gravy is water. Southern ham is a very strong flavored ham.
Southern breakfasts do fuel a person up for a hard days work. Even if the day's hard work only consists of dangling a bamboo fishing pole over a catfish pond! ... Shawna