Stories / Recipes

This Ingredient Is the Secret to Perfect Grits

Frank Guerriero

March 13, 2019


Photo: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis

Even if you’re lucky enough to live in a city where specialty markets abound, homemade yogurt or ricotta is a worthy project. With just a little extra effort, you’ll end up with a creamier and infinitely more flavorful product, plus a batch of rich, protein-packed liquid gold (a.k.a. whey). This byproduct can bring a boost of lactic body to countless dishes, like in this recipe for whey-cooked heirloom grains from southern star William Dissen.

Dissen starts by sautéing onions and garlic in butter, then boils the whey and whisks in his grain of choice, stone ground grits. Once they’ve simmered and steamed, he returns the grits to the heat and quickly incorporates a dose of heavy cream. Seasoned to taste with hot sauce, this bowl of southern comfort is the perfect way to round out your waste-friendly breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Get the recipe.

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The James Beard Foundation's new cookbook, Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, offers up a host of delicious solutions to the pressing problem of food waste. Featuring 100 recipes from alumni of our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and ChangeWaste Not will teach you how to turn every root, bone, rind, and stem into an irresistible dish.

Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, published by Rizzoli,​ is on sale now.​ Order your copy today!

Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.