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Cheddar Cheese Grits With Spicy Black Beans

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2 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup quick-cooking grits
1/4 pound Cheddar cheese, grated
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch squares
1 green bell pepper, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
6 scallions including green tops, sliced thin
1 (19 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
3 plum tomatoes, chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter, the Tabasco, paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Add the grits in a slow stream, whisking. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the grits are very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cheese. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick frying pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter over moderate heat. Add the bell peppers and scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until the beans are hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes. Serve over the cheese grits.

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