Cheese grits are awesome. This is my adaptation of Paula Deen’s Baked Cheese Grits recipe. They’re great brunch food. I like to serve them with kale. But then again, what don’t I like to serve with kale?
Baked Cheese Grits (Serves 6):
Splash of olive oil
3-10 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 1/2 c. light-colored beer, dry white wine or dry cider
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 c. regular grits or polenta
8 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 c. milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter, cut into pieces
4 oz grated sharp white cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease an 8 or 9 inch pie tin, or other oven-safe vessel of similar volume.
- Heat the garlic and olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat, until the garlic is soft.
- Add the broth, beer, and Worcestershire sauce to the saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Stir in the grits and whisk until combined.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the grits are thick. The grits have a tendency to spit while they’re thickening, so a splatter guard might be a nice thing to cover the pan with.
- Add 8 oz of shredded cheddar to the grits, and stir until melted.
- Beat the eggs and the milk together until thoroughly combined.
- Now, here you can either temper the eggs and milk to forestall any potential pre-cooking of the eggs, or you can just dump the eggs and milk into the pan with the grits and cheese and stir. If you want to temper the eggs: add a tablespoon of the hot grits/cheese mixture to the egg/milk mixture. Stir to combine. Repeat until you’ve added 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of the grits mixture to the egg/milk mixture. Then add the tempered mix of eggs, milk, and grits to the rest of the grits mixture.
- Add the butter to the grits mixture, and stir until melted.
- Pour into the oven-safe vessel you prepared in step 2! Top with the remaining grated sharp white cheddar!
- Bake 35-40 minutes until set.
Notes: If you’re of a mind for something spicy, you can chop a jalapeno or serrano pepper and stir it into the grits in step 10. Or, if you want to make them half spicy/half regular, pour the grits into the pan and then carefully stir the diced pepper into half of the pan.
If you’re mostly a fan of the crusty cheese part, reduce the cheese that’s stirred into the grits from 8 oz to 4 oz, and bake the grits in a wider, flatter vessel (I have used a baking sheet with a rim to good effect). Then increase the cheese you sprinkle on top from 4 oz to 8 oz. This will provide you with flatter, more cheese-crusty grits.
If you want more solid grits, leave out the butter in step 10. Including the butter gives a more spoonable texture: leaving it out gives you something more sliceable.