- Bring milk, butter, and bay leaf to a boil. Cut down to a simmer.
- Stir in grits with a whisk. Continue to whisk every couple of minutes until they “bloom,” then switch to a spatula and cook on very low, stirring every 5−10 minutes. (By using a spatula, you cut down on the risk of scraping up any browned grits that ultimately get stuck on the bottom.)
- Cook for 1½ hours until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and white pepper. You may need to add a little more milk if necessary as they cook.
- Finish by folding in a little mascarpone cheese.
- In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add butter. Let brown slightly.
- Add onions. Cook until caramelized a golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter, shallot, and garlic. Let shallot and garlic get golden.
- Turn up heat to high. Add spinach. Cook until wilted (4−5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
Stayman Apple and Sage Cream
- Heat a saucepot over medium heat. Add butter, shallots, sage, and apples. Cook until slightly caramelized (5−7 minutes).
- Deglaze pan with brandy. Cook until brandy has evaporated.
- Add apple cider. Reduce by half. Add chicken stock. Cook until reduced to less than a half cup of liquid.
- Add heavy cream. Reduce to a syrupy consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a chinois.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Season pork on both sides. Sear pork in a sauté pan with butter until golden on one side. Add thyme. Flip chops.
- Add chicken stock to pan and finish in a 350-degree oven (about 7−10 minutes). Pull pork out of oven and glaze with apple butter.
- Place grits in center of plates. Place the wilted spinach alongside. Put the shaved ham next to the spinach.
- Lay pork up against grits. Place caramelized onions over pork. Drizzle sauce around.
- Garnish with fresh apples and crispy sage leaves.