Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cayuga Pure Organics' Freekeh Grits

I have been experimenting again with Cayuga Pure Organics' freekeh.  Just to remind everyone, CPO freekeh is an immature spelt berry that is harvested young and roasted in its hull producing a smoky tasting grain.  It enhances any meal experience and makes a great conversation piece.

I came up with a recipe using freekeh in a savory brunch style dish by cracking the grains in a spice grinder and cooking them like grits.  Why should corn be the only grain allowed in grits!?  Then I put the grits in greased baking pan and let them set overnight in the refrigerator.  The next morning I cut the freekeh grits into squares.  I then prepped some Side Hill Acres' raw goat milk cheddar, Good Life Farm winter greens, and an egg from Solona Farm.  In a hot cast iron skillet, with a touch of sunflower oil, I seared the freekeh grit cakes until golden brown on both sides and then cracked the egg into the hot pan.  I topped the grit cakes with some of the goat milk cheddar and put the pan under the broiler until the the cheese was melted and golden brown.  To serve, put one grit cake on a plate and place a handful of greens on the cake, drizzle with some oil and vinegar (or any dressing you have on hand), place another freekeh grit cake on top and then the egg, finish with a touch of sea salt and a healthy pinch of fresh ground black pepper.  This dish is a great example of how to use leftover cooked grains and turn them into another fine dining experience. 

Here is the recipe for the freekeh grits...enjoy!

CPO Freekeh Grits/ Grit Cakes
By Hans Butler
1 cup CPO freekeh
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
¼ cup onion – small dice
Sea salt – to taste
Black pepper – to taste
3 cups water
1)      Crack the freekeh in a spice grinder and soak in water for 1 hour, drain and reserve
2)      Heat sunflower oil in a pot, add the onions, salt and pepper, sauté until golden brown about 2 minutes
3)      Add freekeh to the pot and sauté for about 1minute, add water, season again with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 30-45 minutes until the freekeh has a creamy porridge style consistency
4)      To make grit cakes, grease an appropriately sized cookie sheet and layer with the warm grits, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight – to serve, cut into desired size and shape, pan fry

Yields 4-5 servings

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