Chef Anthony Lamas – Seviche, A Latin Restaurant, Louisville, KY and Roasted Poblano and Manchego Weisenberger Grits
Lamas is exceedingly passionate about what he does. Having met him personally several times and worked with him on our culinary tour in Louisville last year, I know how creative he is and how tirelessly he works to put out innovative dishes with surprising flavors. “It’s a labor of love. It has to be in you. You need to have your heart in it. At Seviche, it is not just about me. It’s a team effort and the team has to be inspired together. When we do it right we are all happy.”
Thank you so much to Chef Lamas for all of the time he has spent working with us. He played a huge role in the success of our On The Road culinary adventure to Louisville and it is a true pleasure to call him our friend. In this case, a friend with some amazing food benefits.
Lamas has shared a recipe for his take on a Southern favorite, Roasted Poblano and Manchego Weisenberger Grits. “This recipe for grits takes them to an elevated level and are a perfect immersion of fresh and local flavors with a Latin flair.”
I prepared the recipe with Logan Turnpike Mill stone-ground grits and served them with grilled local pork chops and they were outstanding. The subtle bit of heat from the freshly roasted poblano peppers added a surprising kick. I did combine them with lightly sauteed fresh Florida corn shaved from the cob and the bit of crunch was texturally pleasing and added another layer of flavor. Be sure to add the corn right before you serve the grits to keep it crisp.
The grits were even better the next day after the flavors had time to marry. I recommend that you make these grits a day ahead before serving. Certain not to waste one bite of the leftover grits, I heated the oven to 300 degrees and melted a small amount of butter in 2 individual cast iron skillets. When the pans were warm, I removed them from the oven and using the melted butter, I evenly coated the pans and poured in the grits that had been reheated. The grits were topped with pieces of crisp, organic applewood smoked bacon and a sunny side up organic egg. Phenomenal. The runny yolk combined with the spicy, cheesy grits and smoky bacon was a delight for the palate. This dish is not to be missed.
You can read more about Chef Anthony Lamas on the Seviche website. This page includes his biography, accolades, awards and press.
* These photographs are the courtesy of Jesse-Inman Hendrix of Estes PR in Louisville, Kentucky and include the photograph at the top of the post.
Roasted Poblano and Manchego Weisenberger Grits
Chef Lamas recommends adding country ham for depth of flavor. You could also use chorizo or Serrano ham for a Latin twist, as he suggests. These grits were even better reheated the next day. I served them with applewood smoked bacon and a sunny side up egg. You will not want to waste one spoonful of these luscious grits!
1 cup grated Manchego cheese
3 roasted Poblano peppers, peeled and roughly pureed in food processor (can substitute 8 ounce can of green chiles)
2/3 cup (180g) white corn grits (I used Logan Turnpike Mill stone-ground grits)
2 cups water
2 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1. Boil 2 cups water with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Slowly stir in the dry grits, pouring them in a thin stream and stirring constantly so they won’t form lumps. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until they start to thicken a little. Then reduce heat to medium low and cook uncovered, stirring now and then to ensure that they don’t stick. After about 25 minutes, reduce heat to very low, cover the pan, and continue cooking until the grits are done. (I needed to add a little bit of water to keep mine from scorching.)
2. Stir the heavy cream, butter, roasted poblanos and manchego cheese into the hot grits, seasoning to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
3. You can also add fresh corn off the cob for texture, or country ham for depth of flavor.