Spice up your average grits recipe by incorporating a combination of fire-roasted poblano and jalapeno chiles. (Just remember: Always wear gloves when handling hot peppers.) Then, throw everything in the slow cooker to let the flavors meld. The recipe comes from Emeril’s Cooking with Power (William Morrow), by super-chef Emeril Lagasse, so you know it’s good.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 pounds mixed mild green chiles, such as poblano, Hatch, and/or Anaheim
2 jalapeño or serrano chiles
2 cups old-fashioned grits, such as Quaker (not instant or quick grits)
6 cups water
4 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
5 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder, plus more for sprinkling if desired
4 ounces pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated, plus more for garnish
2 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, coarsely grated, plus more for garnish
2 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled, for garnish

Directions:
1. Roast all the chiles over an open flame on your cooktop, placing them directly on top of the cooking grates, and allow them to blister and blacken on all sides, turning them with tongs as necessary, 6 to 7 minutes (see Note). Transfer the chiles to a paper bag, crimp the edges closed, and allow them to steam until their skins are loosened and the chiles have cooled slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chiles and wipe off the charred skins. Discard the stems and seeds. Chop the chiles and add them to a 6-quart slow cooker along with the grits, water, milk, butter, salt, garlic, and chili powder.

2. Cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours, whisking occasionally, until the grits are very tender and creamy.

3. Add the 4 ounces pepper Jack and 2 ounces cheddar, and stir until melted. Serve the grits garnished with additional pepper Jack and cheddar, the Cotija, and a sprinkling of chili powder if desired.

Note:
Alternatively, if you do not own a gas cooktop, you can blacken the peppers on a grill or rub them with a bit of oil and blister the skins under the broiler.

Serves 8 to 10

Adapted from Emeril’s Cooking with Power by Emeril Lagasse.