Semolina Grits with Mushroom Pecan Crumble – Selma

The Film:

The Dish:


The Reason:

If you’re going to embark on a 54 mile protest march from Selma to Montgomery, you’re going to need a decent breakfast. If you’re going to agitate for a Voting Rights Act in the face of racist terror, you’re going to want some comfort food. And if you’re going to spend a good spell of time Alabama, you’re going to want some grits. Dr King ( David Oyewelo) and his colleagues are well practiced at slowly stirring hominy (in Richie Jean’s kitchen) and public sentiments. In this dish it’s pure sibilance of the setting which seeded the idea of substituting corn grits for semolina. The other benefit of leaning on groats of wheat is how swiftly they’ll cook- which is perfect when you have many, many things to change.  Joining in the throng are sturdy mushrooms for perseverance, crisp sage for wisdom and rosemary for remembrance.  And as for the pecans clattering through? Well, beyond the much needed textural contrast they offer they’re rumoured to be the key ingredient in Dr King’s favourite pie.

The Way:

Semolina Grits with Mushroom Pecan Crumble


Serves 4 modest portions (it’s very rich). Eat with a sharply dressed green salad on the side. If you want to stretch it further you can add some roast chicken to the top. For a slow carb alternative, replace the semolina with rolled quinoa.



Mushroom Pecan Crumble
20 g butter
2 tbsp olive oil
4 sage leaves
1 stem rosemary
150 g button mushrooms, some diced and smaller ones left whole
50 g pecan, some roughly chopped, some left whole

Semolina Grits
3/4 cup/140 g of semolina
1 1/2 cups/375 ml chicken stock (or vegetable stock if want a vegetarian version)
pinch salt
40 g grated parmesan or hard cheddar
40 g butter


1) To make the mushroom pecan crumble place 20 g butter, 1 tbsp olive oil, the sage leaves and the rosemary stem in a fry pan over medium heat. Cook until the butter has turned nut brown and the sage leaves have begun to crisp. Remove the herbs with a slotted spoon and place to the side on paper towel to drain.

P1150388 2) Add the mushrooms to the remaining nut brown butter. Sautee over medium heat until they are brown and cooked through.

P11503963) Add the pecans and stir to combine and lightly toast. Set aside while you make the grits.


4) To make the grits bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Add the semolina and pinch of salt.

P11503975) Whisk well over a medium heat until it begins to thicken. Continue to whisk over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until you have a bubbling, cohesive mass.

P1150398 6) Add the butter and grated cheese and stir, off the heat to combine.

P11504007) To serve portion the grits into bowls. Top with the mushrooms, crispy sage and rosemary and pecans. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. P1150436

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