Julie Pauly's Grits in Banyuls Broth

This is a recipe in progress.

Soak a good handful of excellent dried mushrooms in three cups boiling hot water. Set aside. You will be using both water and mushrooms.

Cook 1 cup Sunflower Sundries Hickory King Grits in 2 cups milk and 2 cups water until tender and chewy. Start them on a burner, and then move to a moderate oven for at least one hour.

Press as much water as possible from the soaked wild mushrooms, saving both the mushrooms and the water. Sauté shiitake mushrooms and the reconstituted wild mushrooms in butter or olive oil; add salt and pepper. When the grits are finished in the oven, stir in this sautéed mushroom mixture.

For the broth, in a separate pot, begin with mirepoix. Chop fresh carrots, onions, celery and garlic fine. Cook them gently until browned, which builds flavor.  Julie says, "Browning is where the flavor is! You just have to mind the garlic." Garlic gets bitter if it gets too brown.

In a third pan, sauté inexpensive white mushrooms in butter with salt and pepper.

To the mirepoix pot, add fennel seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves and tarragon. Combine the veggies, sautéed white mushrooms, herbs, 1 cup good white wine and 1 cup banyuls wine or sherry. Cook this broth until it is reduced to 1/2 cup.

To the mirepoix (broth) pot, Add to the broth 2 cups of the reserved wild mushroom soaking water. Bring back to a boil, and reduce broth to about 3/4 cup.

Strain the broth, pushing the solids with a wooden spoon to extract flavor.

Whisk 3 tablespoons butter into the broth. Season with salt and pepper.

Add to the broth lemon juice, 1/4 cup banyuls vinegar, tamari, and 3 spoonfuls honey.

Put the finished grits in a large serving bowl. Pour the broth over and around them.

Finally, top with sautéed fresh wild mushrooms. Julie's favorites are chicken-of-the-woods.

Julie says: "I don't season the grits much (butter salt pepper) as not to overpower the delicate broth and earthy mushrooms... Also before plating the grits in the bowl/bowls I ladle a little of broth in first so the grits can soak up the broth."

And, to gild this amazing lily of a dish, Julie says, "I have also, if plating individually, poached an egg to top with pea tendrils if available."