I snuggled in behind the wheel of what became known as the Starship Enterprise, it was no longer a minivan fit for a family vacation. Instead it morphed into a party pod for a convoy of misfits headed to Mardi Gras. I was old enough to know better but I never let that stop me.
Fortunately, we only lost one car and one person both of which later turned up in Florida. I guess they just needed a change of venue, besides the important thing is we all managed to stay out of jail.
I could smell the chicory coffee wafting out the front door and blowing down Tchoupitoulas. It drew me in like a voodoo king casting a love spell and deposited me at Mother’s front door. The sign about the world’s best baked ham didn’t even register as I walked past it and sat down near a window hoping the low morning sun would cast some clarity onto the crumpled two day old newspaper I was trying to read. I thought the sunlight might help me focus but it didn’t and in the end I had to leave that to the coffee.
The bite of the chicory brought me around long enough to order another cup and a bowl of Grits and Debris, which was really all I could afford. What the coffee couldn’t do, breakfast did. I didn’t realize how bad I needed food. It was one of those occasions when you realize booze and nicotine isn’t a sustainable diet. My breakfast was nourishing from the first bite to the last.
I only ate at Mother’s this one time but I revisit often on mornings when what is needed is a little something more.
Debris: the parts, bits and crumbs of roast beef that fall onto the carving board while you are slicing the meat.
1/2 cup brown rice grits, fine grind or corn grits
1 1/2 cups water plus 2 tablespoons
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup debris, chopped pot roast or some sort of chopped cooked beef
1 cup au jus or beef broth
1 shallot, peeled and sliced thinly
2 eggs, optional
oil or butter for frying the eggs, optional
chive is you feel so inclined
1. Place the grits and water into a sauce pan. Add a healthy pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper. In another sauce pan combine the shallots, au jus and debris. Place both pans over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat of the grits to a simmer and cover. Reduce the heat under the debris to medium low and let it bubble briskly.
Optional eggs: Heat a saute pan over high heat and add the butter. Fry the eggs to your liking.
2. Bowl up the grits, ladle half the debris and au jus over each then sprinkle with chives. Serve with some good coffee.