Grits are beloved in the South, but somewhat under-appreciated in many other parts of the country. This easy and rich casserole is sure to be a crowd pleaser no matter where it’s served! It’s the ultimate breakfast comfort food, but is also wonderful served as a side dish in place of mashed potatoes, rice or polenta.
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned grits
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups), divided
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce (or more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Garnish: snipped chives
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a shallow 3-quart baking dish with butter or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
- Melt butter in a 4 to 5-quart, preferably nonstick, saucepan. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water, cream and salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in grits; reduce heat to low and cook uncovered, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the cheese, the eggs, pepper sauce and ground black pepper. Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake 35 to 45 minutes until golden and slightly puffed.
The grits can be made and put into the baking dish and refrigerated 1 day ahead. Just let come to room temperature before baking. Serving a smaller crowd? This recipe can be halved and baked in a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
Terry Grieco Kenny
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