About the Dish

1/2 cup Stone-Ground Grits
4 ounces Butter Beans
6 ounces Tasso
3 ounces Sweet Peppers
2 ounces Green Onion
2 ears Corn
6 ounces Salad Tomatoes
2 cloves Garlic
6 sprigs Thyme
1 pat Butter
Per Serving
Calories 560
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 910 mg
Total Carbohydrates 63 g
Dietary Fiber 11 g
Sugar 9 g
Protein 27 g
Sheri Castle

Sheri Castle is an award-winning, professional food writer and culinary instructor. She is known for melding storytelling, humor, and culinary expertise, so she can tell a tale while making a memorable meal.

"I’ve been a cook and writer my whole life. I wrote my first original recipe and mailed it to a TV show when I was four years old. I was lucky enough to have been raised by one of those legendary Southern grandmothers who cooked with great skill and no recipes. Even when my cooking veered drastically away from Southern for a few years, she was always open to what I prepared and would taste anything." BOOKS: The Southern Living Community Cookbook: Celebrating Food and Fellowship in the American South; The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands and CSA Boxes, The University of North Carolina Press, 2011.; Sugar, Butter, Flour: The Waitress Pie Book; Le Creuset. PUBLICATIONS: Southern Living; Garden and Gun; Better Homes and Gardens; The New York Times; Eater; The Washington Post; The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; The Times Picayune; The Charlotte Observer; The Chicago Tribune; The Kitchn; NPR’s Kitchen Window; The Local Palate; Epicurious; Gravy (named 2014 Publication of the Year by James Beard Foundation); Taste of the South; Cornbread Nation; Bitter Southerner. AWARDS: 2011 American Institute of Wine and Food Foundation Scholarship for Recipe Writing presented in honor of Julia Child; 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Burt Green Award for Instructional Writing with Recipes; 2012 Southern Independent Booksellers Association Cookbook of the Year; 2015 IACP Cookbook Award Finalist; New York Times Notable Cookbook; Washington Post Recommended Cookbook. For more information on Sheri Castle, visit shericastle.com

Cream Ale

When a dish features a one-two punch of corn and grits you need to look for a beer with adjunct malts. What are adjunct malts? Essentially anything that adds sugar for the yeast to ferment. Corn is a popular adjunct for the added sugar. Since grits add a double punch of corn, we suggest the original adjunct lager: the cream ale.

Suggestion: Stillwater Vanilla Cream Ale, Baltimore, Maryland Georgia local recommendation: Jailhouse Alibi, Hampton, Georgia

Aged Champagne

Champagne is a wonderful pairing for rich dishes with sweet and robust flavors because of the bubbles, the tree fruit profile, and the natural acidity inherent to the region. As they age, they gain complexity from secondary aromatics and evolved fruit characteristics that make them almost otherworldly. Aged Champagnes are generally expensive and worthy of being enjoyed on their own; however, I feel they truly shine when enjoyed with food full of natural flavors and sweetness. Look the for fatty texture of the butterbeans and sweet pop of corn kernels to shine against the contrasting apple and pear fruits and white rock mineral.

Pairing - Pierre Gimonnet & Fils, Champagne Brut Special Club (2009) – Champagne, France


In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 2 1/4 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. When liquid comes to a simmer, stir in grits, stirring continuously as the liquid returns to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15-20 minutes. Using a whisk or flat-edged wooden spoon, stir along bottom every 5 minutes or so to prevent the grits from scorching. When grits are creamy and tender, turn off heat, cover pot and set aside.
While grits are cooking, fill another small saucepan half full with water. Bring to a boil, and stir in butter beans. Return to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain.
While the beans and grits cook, prepare your mise en place: Pick thyme, and place stems in simmering butter beans. Dice tasso ham. Remove stem and seeds from sweet pepper; dice flesh. Thinly slice green onions. Cut corn kernels from the cobs and scrape the milky liquid from the cobs. Finely chop tomatoes. Peel and chop garlic.
Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Add tasso (note that tasso is spicy; you can use half or less if you prefer a milder flavor). Cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to render its fat and change color slightly, 1-2 minutes.
Stir in sweet pepper, green onions, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and cook 2 minutes, stirring midway. Stir in corn. Cover and cook 2 minutes, stirring midway. (It’s fine if the milky corn liquid browns, but reduce the heat if it begins to scorch.)
Stir in butter beans, tomatoes and garlic. Cook uncovered until the vegetables are barely tender, about 2 minutes more, stirring often. Stir in thyme. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Stir butter into grits, and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust consistency as needed with a little hot water. Serve succotash over grits, and enjoy!