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While I was busy pureeing things and stirring cheese the Rooms was whipping up some great appetizers of her own. She created some lovely stuffed mushrooms and delicious fried grits triangles (and yes, I did just say fried grits and again, yes we really are that southern that we would fry our grits). Obviously we doctored both recipes to better suite our tastes, because were cool like that. Because we had already devoured the fondue, I also tossed together a tomato-y dipping sauce for the grits.

I don’t know if it’s cheating to have the Rooms cook some of the Challenge recipes… but since it’s my cooking challenge I’m going to deem that a no and happily share the great things cooked!

Anyhow, both of these were quite tasty and I’m definitely going to have to revisit the grits, probably with more cheese, garlic and spices. But seriously, the rooms did a stellar job on these!

Fried Grits Triangles (adapted from Gourmet Every Day)

3 c water

1 c quick cooking grits

1 c grated cheddar

½ c minced scallions

4 cloves minced garlic

1 lg egg

1 c bread crumbs

2 c vegetable oil


Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan, slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat and cheese, scallions, and garlic and stir until the cheese is completely melted. Spread grits in a buttered 8 in square pan and set in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until firm.

Cut grits into 4 squares and then cut each square into 4 triangles.  Wisk together the egg and a ¼ c water in a shallow bowl. Dip grits into egg and then into the bread crumbs.

Heat oil in a deep pot over medium high heat. Fry grits in small batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

(we served them with a dipping sauce with mayo, tomato paste, garlic powder, lemon juice, Sriracha, and black pepper.)

Mushrooms Royale a.k.a Stuffed Mushrooms (adapted from Betty Crocker)

8 to 10 lg mushroom caps

2 Tbs olive oil

½ a green bell pepper, minced

½ onion, minced

4 cloves, garlic, minced

4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

¼ c white cheddar, shredded

1 Tbs minced parsley

½ c bread crumbs

½ tsp thyme

¼ tsp turmeric and ground black pepper

Balsamic vinegar for drizzling


Heat oven to 400 °.

Wash mushroom caps and set aside.

Heat oil in a medium sauté pan, add the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Cook for about 6 minutes, until tender. Mix with all of the remaining ingredients. Press the filling firmly into the mushroom caps and drizzle with balsamic.

Place mushrooms in a shallow baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.