Southern Sidebaked cheese grits

Baked Cheese Grits
(Serves 10-12)

Oh, dear Grits, let us count thy ways: bacon, ham, shrimp, onions, artichokes; fry you, fritter you, or serve you plain. So many options.

8 C water
2 tsp. salt
2 C grits (not instant)
4 T butter
1 T garlic powder
12 oz. cheddar cheese (grated)
4 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C milk

Preheat oven to 350. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil and slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat and continue stirring. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove grits from heat, stir in remaining ingredients, and turn into a 2 qt. greased casserole dish. Bake 45-50 minutes.

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Tips & Glossary

Basic southern cuisine differs from its Cajun, Creole, and Southwestern cousins in its lack of hot spices. As a result, it's rich but mild—the ultimate in comfort food!

Crabmeat: meat from the body, legs or claws of numerous varieties of crab. Most prized is jumbo lump from the hind leg. But for crab cakes and casseroles, use regular lump, as well as finback from the body. Claw meat is brown and stronger flavored, though also good for crab recipes. Buy it fresh if you can.

Greens: a staple in Southern cooking, they're in the cabbage family and include kale, collards, turnip, spinach, and mustard greens. Usually served with black-eyed peas and cornbread to sop up the pot likker.

Grits: another staple of Southern cooking: coarsely ground corn, cooked as porridge. Once cooked, grits are served plain, baked in a casserole, fried or deep-fried as a fritter. (Think polenta.)

Pie Crust: store bought crusts are fine. But for the skilled (or more daring) among you, make your own. Here's our recipe—Noel's Pie Crust.

Yams: a type of sweet potato with an elongated shape and deep orange flesh. A true yam is grown in Africa and Asia is actually quite different from what Americans call yams.


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