Cheesy Grits with Tetsukabuto and Mushrooms
Creamy, rich grits-meets-polenta that's full of savory winter squash and topped with crispy mushrooms. Delicious!
  • 1 Tetsukabuto squash (roughly 3.5lbs, yielding about 2 cups cooked)
  • 8oz Shelburne Farms Cheddar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup coarse Wapsie cornmeal 
  • One red or yellow onion
  • 1-2 pints mushrooms
  • Pinch of thyme
  • Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Wash, halve, and seed Tetsukabuto squash. Coat with oil and bake on a baking sheet, cut side down, for approx 45 minutes (or until soft).
  2. While squash is cooking, peel and small-dice onion and cook in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat until soft and sweet, roughly 7 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Grate cheddar and cut mushrooms (including stems) into thin pieces, then set aside. 
  4. When squash is done, remove from oven and reduce heat to 325F. Place one rack on top and one rack on bottom of oven.
  5. Take a large oven-proof pan or cast-iron skillet. Boil 4.5 cups of water (your tea kettle is fastest). Add butter to pan, then add boiling water and whisk until butter is fully melted. Slowly add 1 cup coarse cornmeal, whisking to incorporate, then cover with foil or lid and place on bottom rack of oven.
  6. Spread mushrooms on baking sheet in single layer, then drizzle with olive oil, salt, and thyme. Put in top rack of oven.
  7. Bake cornmeal and mushrooms for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, scoop squash into a bowl and mix with cheese and cooked onion until smooth.
  8. Remove polenta from oven, then increase oven temperature to 500 (or set broiler to low) to crisp up mushrooms.
  9. Incorporate squash mixture into polenta little by little, adding a splash of milk if it becomes difficult to stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Remove mushrooms from oven when crispy. Serve polenta/grits in bowls with crispy mushrooms as garnish! (And maybe some hot sauce.) Enjoy!