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Associate Food Editor
Cooking Light

Web References (199 Total References)

The two tastes are way different, ...

www.saukvalley.com, $reference.date [cached]

The two tastes are way different, says Ann Taylor Pittman, executive editor of Cooking Light, and she knows that only too well having grown up in the Mississippi Delta on a farm. Cream of Wheat has a toasty, wheaty and nutty flavor. Whereas grits is sweeter and tastes like corn, she says.

The author of Everyday Whole Grains (Oxmoor House, March 2016) says grits is more like polenta, which is made from ground cornmeal. While both are cooked in a porridge-style with plenty of water, she says, polenta is smoother and finer in texture while grits is coarser.
Pittman swears by whole-grain grits even though it takes about 20 to 30 minutes to cook. The flavor and texture of instant grits is nowhere near the richness and grit of whole-grain grits [such as McEwen & Sons], which take longer to cook but absolutely worth it, she writes in her cookbook, which is loaded with creative whole-grain recipes that will convert even the naysayers. The directions are easy to follow and the results absolutely piquant.
I tried to create recipes that are approachable and easy to work into everyday foods, she says of her new cookbook. I wanted to move meals more toward whole grains.
However, grits still are a regional specialty and not sold in a lot of supermarkets, she says. And thats the case in Pittsburgh, where it is hard to find whole-grain grits of any brand. So to test the recipes, I settled for instant white grits rather grudgingly after not finding the old-fashioned kind in four different stores.
For a perfect bowl of old-fashioned grits, Pittman says, the proportion should be 1 cup of grits to almost 4 cups of liquid, which can be a combination of milk and water or stock and water. Start with bringing the liquid to a boil, then season the water with salt before gradually pouring in the grits. The key is to make the grits lump-free, she says, and so the mixture needs to be whisked constantly on low-simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Pittman is big on foods with toppings. On Oscar night, she would throw a party, having a mashed potato bar with 30 kinds of toppings. That concept came into play when she came up with the grit recipes for her cookbook.
There is no limit to toppings, and grits is a wonderful canvas that absorbs anything, she says.
For a Mexicalli grits bowl, she combines homestyle salsa, lime juice and cubed avocado to enhance the grits creaminess.
She generally likes the combination of pesto, mushrooms and spinach, so she uses cremini mushrooms and fresh baby spinach along with pesto and garlic for an earthy topping.
To keep with the Southern flavor, she combines pancetta, fried eggs and red-eye gravy, which is a play on grits with red-eye gravy and is typically made with drippings from browned pork, tomato juice and brewed coffee.
She has a grits bowl with cheddar cheese, chives and scrambled eggs just to have an easy, simple and mainstream breakfast idea, she says.
Then there is the BLT grits bowl where bacon is cooked until it is crisp, and cherry tomatoes are seared in the bacon drippings. The porridge is topped with arugula drizzled with bacon drippings and juice, the caramelized tomatoes and a bacon slice.
There can never be too much corn when it comes to grits, Pittman says, and so she layers corn kernels and turkey sausage over corn porridge in her Sausage and Sweet Corn Grits Bowl. I double corn; the top layer is crunchy and the bottom is smooth, she says.
But of course, if you want to have grits with just a pat of butter thats fine, too, she says.
If you have leftover grits, she says, chill and then cut them into squares. Finally, pan-fry the grit cakes for a crusty outside and a creamy inside.
Note: All recipes were adapted from Everyday Whole Grains, by Ann Taylor Pittman (Oxmoor House; March 22, 2016).
Ann Taylor Pittman is right when she says you cannot go wrong by layering corn with corn.

Who Won 2013 Beard Journalism Awards and Why - Dianne Jacob, Will Write For Food

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Ann Taylor Pittman Cooking Light " Mississippi Chinese Lady Goes Home to Korea"

A gorgeous first-person essay disguised as a piece about Korean food, where the American author discovers her heritage and family. Pittman is the food editor of Cooking Light. She had an opportunity here that might not have been given to a freelancer.

The Tucson Tamale Company ...

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The Tucson Tamale Company received national press this week, with praise from Ann Pittman of Cooking Light magazine.

"When we tried them in our test kitchen, we were blown away at the quality: Simply put, these tamales are really good," Pittman said.

The Tucson Tamale Company ...

azstarnet.com, $reference.date [cached]

The Tucson Tamale Company received national press this week, with praise from Ann Pittman of Cooking Light magazine.

"When we tried them in our test kitchen, we were blown away at the quality: Simply put, these tamales are really good," Pittman said.

My friend Ann Taylor ...

www.vietworldkitchen.com, $reference.date [cached]

My friend Ann Taylor Pittman, the executive food editor of Cooking Light magazine, recently visited Korea for the first time. Reading her name alone, you wouldn't guess that she's half Korean, but she is. Ann took the epic journey with her brother, meeting up with relatives she barely knew, connecting with food bloggers and Korean culinary liaisons, and venturing to markets, restaurants, and bars. She recounted her emotional journey in the magazine's 25th anniversary issue that came out in November.

I was interested in Ann's experience ever since she told me about her plans in 2011. Her poignant story made me tear up. The recipes she presented made me famished.

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