Once relegated to the breakfast table, Southern cooks are now serving grits throughout the day with all sorts of savory additions. This classic recipe for cheese grits from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea is open to interpretation. Try it with roasted tomatoes, thick slices of ham, leftover chicken—whatever you've got on hand.
Author Martha Hall Foose uses quick (not instant) stone-ground grits, such as Anson Mills. You can assemble this dish up to a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. To account for the access chill, add 20 minutes to the baking time.
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- Yield:12 servings
- 3 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 5 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon hot paprika
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a shallow 2 1/2-quart baking dish.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 1/2 cups of the milk, 2 cups water, the butter, garlic, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Slowly whisk in the grits. Whisk continuously for a minute, until no lumps remain. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 cups milk, the hot sauce, pepper, and eggs. Gradually add the hot grits, stirring to combine. Pour the grits into the prepared dish and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake for 45 minutes, until puffy around the edges and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.