In hour home, we ate grits two different ways: 1.) for breakfast with milk, sugar, and Country Crock mixed in, or 2.) for dinner with cheese and salt or more Country Crock and salt. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that there was more to grits than Country Crock.
One day, I came across a recipe that blended the flavor of fresh country sausage, sharp cheddar cheese, whipped eggs, and grits all into one handsome casserole. I’ve been serving the dish to my family ever since.
1 scant cup quick cooking grits
4 cups water
2 cups any yellow cheese, divided
1 cup milk
1 pound mild sausage (or your choice of flavor)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 small jalapeno, seeded and minced finely (optional)
In a large pot set over medium high heat, add the sausage all at once and begin to brown. Once the sausage is about half-way cooked, drain to remove excess oil (do not rinse!) and then return to the pot and continue cooking until thoroughly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Using the pot you just browned your sausage in (there should be a small amount of fat left), slowly add the water all at once and bring to a boil. Add grits and cook for about 4 1/2 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Remove pot from heat.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the four eggs. Add a small amount of grits to the eggs and then add the entire egg mixture to the grits. You want to be careful not to make strings of cooked eggs in the grits so it’s important to get the eggs about the same temperature as the grits before adding them to the pot.
Add the sausage, milk, and 1 1/2 cups of cheese to grits/egg mixture. Stir thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the entire mixture to a two quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 F for one hour. Cool for ten minutes, cut and serve with Southern hospitality.
NOTE: If you are using jalapenos in this recipe, add them when you add the sausage, cheese and eggs to the grits mixture. You can optionally top with sliced jalapenos on top. An easy method would be to use canned jalapenos. Chili peppers would be a milder choice.