Black Truffle & Cheese Grits

Black truffles and a Poached Egg make this a decadent breakfast

On Valentine’s Day, I woke up in a panic, realizing that I hadn’t planned anything for breakfast! Thankfully, I was the first one up, and quietly tip-toed out of bed, and around the squeaky floorboard to the kitchen. Still a bit groggy from a late night, I opened the fridge and welcomed the blast of sleep chasing cold air as it entered my lungs. I poked my head into the overcrowded ice-box and took not of the buttermilk, eggs, and cheese. “All the makings for muffins” I thought, but but then quickly dismissed this because it just didn’t seem very special. Shifting leftovers and jars around like a epicurean Rubik’s cube, I unearthed a tiny bottle filled with a few ounces of black gold, (no, not crude oil, the other black gold) and I knew I’d found my special ingredient.

Gourmet Attitude had sent over a bottle of truffle carpacio a few months back and I’ve been savouring every ebony sliver of pungent truffle goodness. It’s a diminutive $35 bottle, but I’ve gotten four meals out of it so far, and it’s leaps and bounds better than the “fresh” black truffles I’ve purchased at grocery stores in the past. Like most spices, the aromas in black truffles start fading the moment they come out of the ground. By the time the so called “fresh” truffles arrive at Whole Foods, they’re about as tasty as a shriveled black lump of coal. These ones are shaved and immediately submerged in olive oil to lock in the flavours. This process has a secondary benefit of flavouring the oil as well, so you get a two for one deal of shaved black truffles with black truffle infused oil.

Truffles, eggs, and Asiago cheese in hand, I headed over to the pantry and a nearly empty bag of polenta fell out of the cabinet and onto the counter, spilling golden grains of course ground corn onto the green granite. I cursed my clumsiness for only a moment before I made the serendipitous connection — black truffle and cheese grits with a soft poached egg on top! This is such an easy breakfast it doesn’t need a recipe, but here’s what I did:

Black Truffle & Cheese Grits

1 Tbs vinegar
2 eggs
2 servings of cooked grits
1 Tbs crème fraiche
1 Tbs shaved black truffles in oil + more for garnish (Gourmet Attitude’s truffle carpacio works well)
2 oz shaved aged asiago cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot with about 1.5 inches of water in it to a boil. Add the vinegar and turn down the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Crack the eggs into individual ramekins, then lower the ramekin straight into the water, tipping it underwater, so the egg gently slides out onto the bottom of the pot. Dropping the eggs in from the surface creates turbulence in the water which is how you end up with more foam than egg. As soon as you see the outside of the eggs turn white, turn the heat off, and let the eggs sit in the hot water until they are the desired doneness. You can test for this by prodding it with a blunt object (I use my finger, but the water is pretty hot, so this might not be for everyone). When they are cooked, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate (if they’re stuck to the bottom of the pan, use a thin spatula).

Cook 2 servings of grits (or polenta) in lightly salted water according to the package directions. When the grits are thick and almost done, add the crème fraiche, black truffles and cheese, stirring until the cheese is completely melted. Taste it, then and add salt and pepper as needed.

Plate by putting down a layer of grits, topping with a poached egg, sprinkling a little salt and pepper on top along with some chives, and a thin slice of black truffle.

  • Ju (The Little Teochew)

    Your lucky partner. :) Moral of the story, always have truffles in da house! Gorgeous brekkie!

  • Manggy

    I remember about this time last year we were talking about making do during Valentine's Day with a struggling economy! Look at you now, Mr. Truffle 😉 (Yah, I know, they were free…) I've yet to taste one. Thanks for warning me away from the coal at WF!

  • Jan Bennett

    Wow! Looks delish!

  • my spatula

    waking up to a beautiful truffle breakfast?!! good grief – your wife is one lucky, lucky gal! :)

  • ginnygetsfloury

    delicious! thanks for the tip on the truffle! :)

  • The Wind Attack

    What a swoon worthy breakfast. And it looks real pretty too!

  • Maggie

    Yum. What a lovely, luxurious breakfast.

  • joannova

    Very elegant execution. Lucky Valentine.

  • christinefreshlocalandbest

    I would have never thought to pair truffles with grits! This looks divine. Great to know that truffle carpaccio is a good substitute for fresh ones.

  • Marie

    This dish is officially ridiculous (as in way awesome). I am from the South, so I've had grits. But not like this! Sounds wonderful.

  • bunkycooks

    Definitely not the classic grits presentation! Someone was lucky Valentine's morning….this sounds so good!

  • jentinyurbankitchen

    I love it! This is totally a combination of all favorite combination of ingredients – truffles, eggs, and corn! And I totally agree – much more interesting than muffins!

  • Jen (The Domestic Diva)

    What a heavenly dish! Being from the South, a soft egg on cheesy grits is a classic in my household, but I've never made them with truffles! I'll have to give this a shot – I think I have some black truffle butter in my fridge.

    Jen (Domestic Diva)

  • Leela

    I didn't even know Valentine's came and went. Darn …

    This looks lovely, Marc, and elegant yet unpretentious at the same time. It takes genius thinking to turn ordinary pantry items into something extraordinary. Of course, having a bottle of truffle on hand sure doesn't hurt. (Is my jealousy detectable? Is it? Is it?)

  • Dawn Becker

    Simple and delicious. Silly me but I never realized that polenta = grits. I love making a super creamy coconut polenta as a foil for anything saucy. This expands my use of that giant cornmeal bag. Thanks!

  • TokyoTerrace

    Wow. I am so craving this right now. For the past few weeks I have been craving cheesy grits for some strange reason and you are now making my mouth water with this beautiful dish! Nice work- I'm sure this made the morning of Valentine's Day very special!

  • Peter G

    Very decadent Marc…amazing!

  • Trissa

    I have to say, what a fantastic way to wake up on Valentine's day. This has elegance written all over it!

  • Pam

    What a fantastic breakfast! Yum!

  • my little expat kitchen

    This looks really good!!

  • diva

    Oh one good-looking dish here and that truffle's probably out of my student budget but I must try this one day. Have never had truffle carpacio.

  • Cynthia

    A lucky partner indeed!

  • Tricia

    I may have to try this . . .

  • Carol Egbert

    Tasty and lovely to look at as well.

  • Food Wine Chickie

    Love the tale you tell! Recipe looks fabulous, as yours typically do. Thanks for sharing the story and recipe.

  • Soo Lee

    Oh, sweet joy of joys, this looks positively transcendent. Thanks for making my Wednesday!

  • Tiffany Rosenberger

    WOW! I cannot wait to try this…Amazing.

  • notyet100

    luved readin ur post,could almost feel it,..;-)

  • Stella

    Oh my gosh! These looks so good. I make organic, yellow grits with black beans and cheese sometimes. It is great, but this looks divine and somewhat evil I must say. You deserved the Top 9 for sure!

  • stacey snacks

    Wow, Henry could really learn something from you, even if it's just the tip toeing part!

  • Beth

    mmm…such an elegant breakfast…and tasty too!

  • katiek

    decadent valentines day. I spent mine celebrating Tet New Years – It was all red, gold, and flowers. But not a truffle in sight.

  • Megan

    YUM, this looks and sounds absolutely delicious! My Mom makes some fabulous cheese grits, this has got me longing for her home cooking :)

  • Chez Us

    Isn't Celine the best – her truffles are really out of this world. Sounds like an amazing meal …

  • my boyfriend cooks for me

    Only in my wildest dreams do I just happen to have truffles around…My boyfriend wooed me by making fantastic breakfasts (and he still does), but man, I'm jealous…

  • kitchenbutterfly

    Stunning photo….and recipe!!!!!!! And I do have some truffles…..

  • 3mu

    If you love truffles, you need to get Oregon truffles. Black or white, Oregon truffles blow any other truffle I’ve ever had out of the water!

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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