Monday, March 23, 2015

Stinging Nettles with Grits and an Egg

   So it's been a while, I guess.  I took a little hiatus.  I focused on my kids, survived the holidays, ate horribly and gained weight and lost weight and gained it back.  I went to Maine to see my brother marry the most wonderful woman on earth.  I learned that I really like candid photography.  Food photography is easier because usually the subject stays still for ya but candid photography is so much more rewarding when you get "the" shot.  

This was that shot:

chiaroscuro portrait photography

I swear I didn't pose her this way.  The light, you guys!  The light...  I can't even.  *Sigh*

     Anyway, I learned some stuff about myself in my time off.  I miss black and white photography, I like taking pictures of people, and apparently, I like to eat stinging nettle.  Who knew, right?

     Stinging nettle is crazy painful and also crazy good for you if you can get past the crazy painful part.  It's also delicious!  So somehow, I have gone my almost 40 years without ever seeing stinging nettle in the wild or getting stung by it.  But I found some at recent farmer's market and managed to sting the fool out of myself almost immediately.  Dag, ya'll.  Ow.

     So anyway, I decided I needed grits this morning and stinging nettle was going to go along with it.  So good.  I guess I was supposed to remove the leaves from the stems before cooking, but I couldn't find any specific directions about that online.  I just went ahead and cooked the stems, too.  It was fine.  No stings, good flavor, just a little too furry for my husband's taste.  I'll probably strip the leaves next time.

Stinging Nettle with an Egg and Creamy, Cheesy Grits

Stinging Nettles with Grits and an Egg
Serves 4

1 C grits
4 C water

4 eggs
3 C stinging nettle very lightly packed
olive oil
salt and pepper

Cook grits to package directions, mine called for 1 C grits to be rinsed, then placed into 4 C boiling water and simmered for 30 minutes.  I add cheese to mine, I like sharp cheese like Beecher's Flagship, but I encourage you to find your favorite local cheddar.  Stir in a little butter and salt and pepper to your taste.  In the mean time, fry or poach four eggs.  I like mine over easy, but poached eggs would be fantastic on this.  Rinse the stinging nettle.  I used tongs to transfer mine to a salad spinner, rinsed in the basket and spun it around until dry.  Heat olive oil in a large pan, then dump nettles in.  Watch out for stingers!  If I were to cut the leaves off first, I would use gardening gloves to hold them while I removed the leaves after washing.  Heat leaves until just wilted and plate as shown.

     The boys weren't having the nettles.  They saw me get hurt and were NOT having any of that business.  My husband and I were a little trepidations, but the flavor was like a pleasantly strong spinach and pared well with the eggs and grits.  If you can't find nettles or are in the boat with my boys, sub out the nettle with spinach.


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