Monday, June 2, 2008

Baked Garlic-Cheese Grits

We're having a cool spring here in Central New York. Most days are cold in the mornings, with high-50*F weather in the afternoons. It's an oddity to get into the 60s or higher. I've been joking that summer is OVER and we're actually enjoying autumn.

But I suppose it makes it nice, in a way, because I can comfortably use the oven, especially in the mornings. And oh, boy, do I have a treat for you this morning!

Mmm... doesn't that look wonderful? And so super-easy! Just mix it all in one bowl and in the oven it goes. And that's just the right thing for any breakfast or brunch! I'll be making this again and again. It's such a quick and comforting breakfast, and would make a lovely addition to any meal. I can imagine it as part of a late supper with a few pan-grilled shrimp and a glass of white wine!

The credit must go to Paula Deen for the original recipe--I only adapted it to a smaller scale and to use instant grits. I also omitted the extra butter, because I felt the cheese provided enough fat for this dish without compromising the flavor.

(It's impossible to find regular grits in my area; I know I could have used polenta, but that tends to be a coarser grind and not really what I'm looking for.)

Baked Garlic-Cheese Grits
serves 3

1-1/2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons instant grits (that's 1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup)
pinch ground black pepper
2 pinches garlic powder
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1/8 cup milk
1 egg
2 or more slices cheese of choice (I used yellow american; cheddar or any cheese you like would be fine)

Combine everything but your two slices of cheese in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour into a greased small (2 servings size, or use individual ramekins) baking pan and bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until set (top will still giggle slightly). Individual ramekins will cook a bit faster.

Remove from oven and top with cheese as desired; rest 5 minutes, or until cheese is melty and perfect. Spoon out or cut into wedges and enjoy.

I will say that the texture of these grits baked in a bit firmer than if you prepare grits on the stove or microwave--but I enjoyed them nonetheless. The ease of throwing this together makes this recipe a winner.


Sam said...

I'm just wondering what are Grits? we don't have them in England and I've never heard of it!

Amanda said...

Grits are sort of like a fine polenta. They're usually white or yellow, and a staple in the Southern U.S., most often a breakfast food but also served as a starch side dish to any meal. Some people eat them savory--with cheese, garlic, bacon, eggs, etc., but others prefer to eat them with jelly or sugar.

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