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Grit Cookbook: World-Wise, Down-Home Recipes
     

Grit Cookbook: World-Wise, Down-Home Recipes

4.7 3
by Ted Hafer, Jessica Greene
 

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The Grit, located in the quintessential boho town of Athens, Georgia, is known far and wide as the touring musicians' restaurant of choice. This classic cookbook features 150 of The Grit's most requested recipes, including 20 new recipes to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this famous establishment. True to its Southern roots, this hip

Overview


The Grit, located in the quintessential boho town of Athens, Georgia, is known far and wide as the touring musicians' restaurant of choice. This classic cookbook features 150 of The Grit's most requested recipes, including 20 new recipes to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this famous establishment. True to its Southern roots, this hip vegetarian eatery combines soul-food sensibility with meatless cuisine, and while there are plenty of Italian, Indian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern favorites to satisfy the well-traveled vegetarian, the heart of this cuisine maintains the down-home, soul-food feeling of simple foods and classic combinations that are guaranteed to please.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The Grit has a far-flung reputation as the indie-rock Moosewood."  —The New Yorker

"A hip eatery that lets you fill up without emptying your pockets."  —CNN.com

"Whenever I visit my old stomping grounds in Athens, my first stop is always The Grit!" —Kate Pierson, The B-52’s

“One of my favorite restaurants.... I am so happy to now have a wonderful cookbook with all their great recipes.” —Marianne Rogers, Hee Haw star

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556526480
Publisher:
Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/28/2006
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
692,678
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.48(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Grit Cookbook

World-Wise, Down-Home Recipes


By Jessica Greene, Ted Hafer

Chicago Review Press Incorporated

Copyright © 2007 Jessica Greene and Edward Hafer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-55652-648-0



CHAPTER 1

fundamentals


• Grit Black Bean Chili

• Grit Pintos

• Grit Salsa

• Grit Marinara

• Grit Yeast Gravy

• Grit-Style Tofu

• Grit Indian Spice


The Grit has always served generous portions of food because we want satisfied customers. The same goes for this cookbook. With so many people over the years telling us they wish they could cook like The Grit does, we've decided to serve up the recipes people want, provide generous yields, and really show them the ropes.

Since some recipes are the secret ingredients for others, a batch of this might call for a batch of that. That's why we have this section called "Fundamentals." Take our beloved Grit Yeast Gravy as an example. It's the secret ingredient for Grit Collard Greens and Chicken Salad-Style Tofu, as well a habit-forming way to smother our Golden Bowl, Garlic-Parsley Mashed Potatoes, and Grit Brunch Biscuits Deluxe.

We've kept these links to a minimum, but a true Grit cookbook wouldn't be complete without these (mostly vegan) essentials. The fundamentals always appear in color.


"I haven't been to Athens since 2001. I was telling everyone we have to go to the amazing monosyllabic restaurant. Peyton said 'Grit.' I said 'That's it, let's not be too late!'"

— Bob Nastanovich, Pavement/Silver Jews


"I have had many obsessions in my life, but none so overwhelming as my obsession with Grit Tofu. Over the years I lived in Athens, I spent days trying to perfect that taste and that texture in my own kitchen. But nothing has worked, so I finally gave up and accepted that only a chosen few will ever know the secret recipe. That way, every Sunday brunch I end up drooling in anticipation while I wait — and it's more fun that way."

— Kitty Snyder


"The Grit, besides simply being one of the finer enjoyments of life, is easily my greatest weapon to convince my more carnivorous friends that vegetarian food can be delicious. If I had a dozen or so disciples, I think that's what would be served at our last meal."

— Brian Teasley, Man Or Astroman?


Grit Black Bean Chili

Years of pleading for this recipe can now cease. Slap this stuff on chips and cover with melted cheese for some fine nachos. Save the rest for a Mondo Burrito, Breakfast Burrito, or Black Bean Staple. This is a large batch, so there's plenty to enjoy. This chili also freezes well.

1 quart dried black beans, sorted and rinsed
Water to soak and cook beans
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
3 tablespoons dark chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small or 1/2 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 bunch celery, with leaves removed and finely chopped
1/2 small or 1/4 large yellow onion, minced
Vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 cup shredded carrots
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup #3 bulgur wheat
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt


Soak beans overnight, or for at least 6 hours, in water to cover (or boil beans for 2 minutes in water to cover and set aside, covered, to soak for 2 hours).

Drain and rinse beans and place in large cooking pot with finely chopped medium onion, garlic, and dry spices. Add enough water to cover, plus 1-1/2 inches. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, 1 hour or more. If necessary, add water in small increments to avoid burning and maintain simmer.

As beans cook, sauté green pepper, celery, and remaining onion in a small amount of vegetable oil until they are translucent and celery is tender.

When beans are done and still very hot, combine all ingredients in a large bowl or pot and blend well. Allow flavors to marry for at least 1 hour. Serve hot or enjoy reheated later.


Yields 16 servings.


Grit Pintos

A simple, delicious essential for the mighty Pasta Fagiole, or the beloved Grit Staple — our pintos over steamed brown rice topped with Sautéed vegetables of choice, minced red onion, and a generous amount of shredded cheese.

1 quart dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
Water to soak and cook beans
1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 scant tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Additional water as necessary


Soak beans overnight, or for at least 6 hours, in water to cover (or boil beans for 2 minutes in water to cover and set aside, covered, to soak 2 hours).

Drain and rinse beans and combine with all other ingredients except salt in a large cooking pot. Add enough water to cover, plus 1-1/2 inches. Bring to a full boil, loosely covered. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, 1 hour or more. If necessary, add water in small increments to avoid burning and maintain simmer. When beans are tender, add salt and stir well.

Yields approximately 12 cups.


Grit Salsa

For dipping chips or jazzing up brunch dishes, burritos, guacamole, or Spanish rice, here's a big bowl of our famous Grit Salsa.

1/2 ripe medium tomato (or 1 small Roma tomato), chopped
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Leaves of 4 to 5 fresh cilantro stems
1 medium clove fresh garlic, chopped
1 small jalapeño chile (or more to taste), chopped
1/3 medium red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon dark chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
In food processor, grind tomatoes and lemon juice on pulse setting
just until very finely chopped but not pureed. Place in large mixing
bowl.


Place cilantro leaves, garlic, and jalapeño in food processor and grind thoroughly. Add chopped onion and grind on pulse setting just until very finely minced. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl, stir together well. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until fully chilled.

Yields 4 cups.


"I've never been one to let my canines go to waste, but The Grit brings out the herbivore in me! The Loaded Nachos make me feel like Popeye on a spinach binge."

— Jon Croxton, The Wee Turtles


Grit Marinara

A big batch, but hey, want to make a great lasagna? Paired with Grit Pintos for Pasta Fagiole or on a simple pita pizza, this sauce is simple and delicious.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley or 1 scant teaspoon dried
1 scant tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 scant teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil or 1 scant teaspoon dried
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 generous teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup of water
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, heat oil over medium-high
heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent
and garlic is well sizzled, approximately 5 minutes. Add
remaining ingredients and stir often until mixture just begins to
bubble. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.


Yields approximately 8 cups.


"I sometimes order the pita pizza, and every time I do, someone will say, 'Man, I didn't know they have pizza here?!' I have taken many a guest there, from bands like the All American Rejects to folks like David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Paul Rudd, and Oprah's favorite author, Greg Behrendt."

— Chris Bilheimer, Krush Girls


Grit Yeast Gravy

Truly a Grit favorite, our yeast gravy instills profound cravings among devotees who are denied it even briefly. People dig it! It lends its stunningly un-vegetarian flavor to fellow Grit dishes such as our Collard Greens and Chicken Salad-Style Tofu. This recipe is easily halved.

1 cup (2 sticks) vegan margarine
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flaked nutritional yeast
2 cups regular (not reduced-fat) soy milk
1/2 cup soy sauce
1-3/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce


In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine completely. Stir in flour and yeast until blended and continue to heat roux until mixture begins to bubble. Use only enough heat to maintain vigorous bubbling, whisking constantly for 4 minutes. This is the time required to cook the flour to smoothness, and vigorous whisking is important to avoid burning.

Continue rapid, thorough whisking and add soy milk gradually. The mixture will quickly become thick and custard-like. Combine soy sauce, water, and Worcestershire sauce and add to gravy gradually. Blend well after every addition and do not add liquid so rapidly that gravy is very thin. If gravy does become too thin from the addition of too much liquid, continued cooking will thicken it.


Yields 4 cups.


"Oh, for an ocean of Grit Yeast Gravy."

— Dottie Alexander, Of Montreal

"There's yeast gravy all over our yeast gravy page."

— John Sharpe, Former Athenian Hall-of-Famer


Grit-Style Tofu

When cooked correctly, tofu can be reminiscent of succulent fried chicken. The secret is to get the water out and the flavor in. The Grit's method is to cook it twice. The essentials are a non-stick skillet, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast.

One of the restaurant's favorites is our Golden Bowl — Grit-Style Tofu served over steamed brown rice drizzled with melted butter (or vegan margarine), topped with Grit Yeast Gravy or sautéed vegetables and shredded mild cheddar.

1 (15-ounce) block firm tofu
Vegetable oil
Soy sauce
Nutritional yeast


Cut tofu into cubes slightly smaller than playing dice. Lightly oil a non-stick skillet and place over high heat. Allow oil to heat slightly and add tofu. Sauté, tossing with a non-metal spatula until evenly and lightly golden brown. Sprinkle lightly with soy sauce, sauté briefly to further brown tofu. Remove from skillet, draining and discarding any excess fluid.

Rinse and wipe skillet dry, lightly oil, and place it over high heat. Allow oil to become very hot and add tofu. Sauté tofu, tossing with a non-metal spatula almost constantly until very well browned. Sprinkle with soy sauce to taste. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast to coat tofu cubes and, tossing vigorously, sauté for a few seconds and remove from heat. Serve immediately.


Personal tastes with regard to salty soy sauce flavor and amount of nutritional yeast "breading" vary widely. Excessive soy sauce will make the tofu too salty, while too much oil and yeast will give a gooey result. At its best, this recipe yields tofu with a slightly crispy, deliciously yeasty exterior and a tender, moist interior.


Yields 2 servings.


"The reason I love The Grit? One can't do better than the Golden Bowl, the old stand-by. Yes, add the veggies, add the cheese. It's culinary nirvana."

— Bill Mallonee, Vigilantes of Love


Grit Indian Spice

The foundation of Indian cooking is the garam masala ("hot spices"), a ground spice mixture made individually and uniquely by every cook. Here is The Grit's signature blend, used in our Curry Dressing and Split Pea Dal.

4 teaspoons curry powder
4 teaspoons cumin powder
3 teaspoons turmeric powder
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
3 teaspoons coriander powder
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 teaspoon freshly ground clove


Combine well and store in an airtight container.


Yields 2/3 cup.


"The Grit is a great restaurant and a source of local pride. They have consummate taste."

— Michael Stipe, R.E.M.


"Even if I was blessed with the culinary skills to create some of the dishes found on their menu, I would still frequent The Grit for the atmosphere. It serves as a port for my social life when I come home from tour or recording."

— Ben Mize, Counting Crows


"Whenever touring bands come to play at the 4O Watt Club and ask about a good place to eat I always send them to The Grit. Anyone who's been there once can't wait to mention that they're off to The Grit as soon as sound check is over."

— Barrie Buck, 40 Watt Club

CHAPTER 2

dressings


• Grit Vinaigrette

• Creamy Garlic Dressing

• Feta Dressing

• Honey Mustard Dressing

• Lemon Tahini Dressing

• Curry Dressing

• Caesar Dressing

• Famous Vegan Ranch Dressing

• Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette


Customers have long appreciated The Grit's homemade salad dressings. Made from scratch with the right balance of acidity, sweetness, and saltiness, our regular dressings are rich and flavorful yet most are non-dairy, and our Caesar Dressing is a great vegetarian rendition. In a world of frighteningly gooey, guar gum- and carageenan-laden non-fat salad toppings, a restaurant that makes its own fresh dressings is bound to have devotees. And no dressing is more beloved than our vinaigrette, which figures in many other recipes in this book. Try them all and don't forget — it's all about emulsifying the oil and acid, so add that oil slowly for a smooth, pleasing result.

"The House Salad — I never thought I would ever crave a salad, I mean, it is just a salad, but I can't stop eating this thing!!! I dream about it! I think it has something to do with the magic they put in the lemon tahini dressing."

— Dan Geller, I Am the World Trade Center


Grit Vinaigrette

This dressing has such a pleasing, balanced, versatile flavor that beyond making a plain salad taste incredible, it is also a key ingredient in such Grit favorites as Classic Grit Pasta Salad, Roma Tomato-Mozzarella Salad, and Chicken Salad-Style Tofu. It also does wonders for practically any sandwich with lettuce or tomatoes.

1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
6 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons finely minced red onion
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Large pinch fresh or dried parsley
Large pinch fresh or dried basil
Large pinch fresh or dried oregano
Large pinch fresh or dried thyme
1 cup soybean oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor and mix well. Continue blending while adding oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. Use immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Yields 2 cups.


Creamy Garlic Dressing

1/2 (15-ounce) block tofu, crumbled
6 tablespoons water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 small garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried
1-1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup soybean oil

Combine all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor and mix well. Continue blending while adding oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. Use immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Yields 2 cups.


Feta Dressing

1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoon minced fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Combine all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor and mix well. Continue blending while adding oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. Use immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Yields 2 cups.

Honey Mustard Dressing

Great over salad greens or as a zesty, sweet companion to our famous Smelt sandwich.

6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons water
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup soybean oil


Combine all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor and mix well. Continue blending while adding oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. Use immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Yields 2 cups.


Lemon Tahini Dressing

1/2 (15-ounce) block tofu, crumbled
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup water
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 scant teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup soybean oil


Combine all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor and mix well. Continue blending while adding oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. Use immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Yields 2 cups.


"On tour, The Grit is like Mecca. When I go to Athens I look forward more to eating at The Grit than I do to playing the gig."

— Juliana Hatfield


Curry Dressing

1/2 (15-ounce) block tofu, crumbled
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon curry powder
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Grit Indian Spice
3/4 cup soybean oil


Combine all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor and mix well. Continue blending while adding oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. Use immediately or store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Grit Cookbook by Jessica Greene, Ted Hafer. Copyright © 2007 Jessica Greene and Edward Hafer. Excerpted by permission of Chicago Review Press Incorporated.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Jessica Greene and Ted Hafer are the owner-operators of the beloved vegetarian restaurant The Grit.

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Grit Cookbook: World-Wise, Down-Home Recipes 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gingerstar
RDianeS More than 1 year ago
Friends who have had the privilege of actually eating at The Grit Restaurant shared this cookbook with me. Within minutes of perusing through the recipes, I was on-line ordering The Grit. Highly recommended. They are actually on their THIRD edition, as they keep lending it out and it never gets returned!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have the previous edition and now my interest is piqued that I am missing out on 20 new recipes! The recipes are tried and true, southern vegetarian style, and very yummy. Even though my husband and I aren't vegetarians, we often substitute turkey sausage when it calls for veggie/vegan links. The yeast gravy and biscuits recipes in the previous edition alone make the book worth it!