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2 In The Kitchen: Amanda Cohen Of Dirt Candy Cooks Up Grits With A Poached Egg

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy in the East Village stopped by the CBS 2 studios to cook up a grits with corn and greens topped with a tempura poached egg.

For more information on Dirt Candy, check out their website, follow them on Twitter, or find them on Facebook.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe (.pdf)

Stone-Ground Grits with Shiitakes, Watercress, and Poached Egg

Most people cook grits by pouring them into boiling water. The grits absorb the flavorless water and taste like glue which isn't anyone's idea of a good time. Grits are a vegetable in disguise - they're corn. So the trick is to enhance the corn flavor. Dirt Candy cooks grits like risotto, which makes them light and fluffy, and we add flavor from the start by using corn cream. These are perfect for dinner, but if you're feeling fancy they make a pretty awesome breakfast, too.

Corn Cream

First up, you need to make some corn cream. It's used in these grits, but it can also be used as a hollandaise sauce substitute and it's great over poached eggs.

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • Salt to taste
  • Makes 2 cups


  1. Put both cups of corn kernels in the blender, and cover them with water.
  2. Blend until smooth (about 3 minutes).
  3. Push through a chinois to remove chunks (pg. 000). Salt to taste.

Stone-Ground Grits with Shiitakes, Watercress, and Poached Egg

Make sure you're using stone-ground grits, and not instant grits! Your dry grits should be yellow, not white.



  • 3 to 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups stone-ground grits
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 5 cups vegetable stock at room temperature
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced shiitakes
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups watercress (or arugula or any slightly bitter green)
  • 2 cups Corn Cream (see above)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 extra large eggs


  1. Put a pan over medium heat with 3 tbsp olive oil, onion, and garlic. Stir for about 2 minutes, until the onion is translucent, then add your dry grits, and keep stirring until they coat the garlic and onion, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until liquid is gone.
  2. Turn heat to low, and add ½ cup vegetable stock. Stir until the grits start to expand and the liquid is absorbed. Continue to stir, and add the stock ½ cup at a time until all the stock is used. Salt to taste.
  3. Fill a large pot with 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar (ratio is 3 cups of water to 1 tablespoon of vinegar). Bring to a boil. This will be for the poached egg.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, and sauté the shiitakes and red pepper flakes. Add grits and stir in 1½ cups of the corn cream, making sure to break down any lumps.
  5. One by one, crack eggs in a bowl then slide them into the boiling water. Stir the water gently since stirring the water will keep the poached egg together as it cooks. When the whites start to solidify (about 1 to 2 minutes) lift eggs out with a slotted spoon and set them aside.
  6. Add the watercress to the pan and stir into the grits. Add the corn kernels and remaining ½ cup corn cream. Mix in the butter, and salt to taste.
  7. Crown each plate of grits with a poached egg, then crumble ricotta salata cheese over the top.
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