Recipe: Garlicky Baked Cheese Grits

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

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8 or 9 inch pie tin, or other oven-safe vessel of similar volume.
  3. Heat the garlic and olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat, until the garlic is soft.
  4. Add the broth, beer, and Worcestershire sauce to the saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  5. Stir in the grits and whisk until combined.
  6. 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.
  7.  Add 8 oz of shredded cheddar to the grits, and stir until melted.
  8. Beat the eggs and the milk together until thoroughly combined.
  9. 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.
  10.  Add the butter to the grits mixture, and stir until melted.
  11. Pour into the oven-safe vessel you prepared in step 2! Top with the remaining grated sharp white cheddar!
  12. 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.

Recipe: Garlicky Baked Cheese Grits

2 thoughts on “Recipe: Garlicky Baked Cheese Grits

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