Saturday, February 21, 2009
Baked Grits and Eggs with Cheese
I've been eating grits since I was very young - perhaps shortly after birth - I'd have to ask mom. My family is not from The South - Midwest actually - but there's such a strong Southern influence in and around where my mom grew up that I have a fairly good grasp of Southern food. That's a good thing because some of the finest food in the world was born in the rural south here in the U.S. and it's something I think every good cook needs to have in their repertoire.
Not only is Southern food hearty and full of flavor, it's also economical - which is also a good thing. When we were young my mom would often make grits, eggs and bacon for breakfast on weekends and there is nothing quite like those flavors blended together.
I like to change things up a little and add cheese or green onion to my grits, but the kids don't always like that, so I usually cook up grits with cheese or even just lots of butter for them. This dish is a couple of my favorites all in one.
Please don't use instant grits for this. If it's all you can get then I suppose it's OK, but the taste and texture of instant is so very different from the real deal that you'll be doing yourself a favor by buying long-cooking grits. Add crumbled bacon and green onion to the grits before baking if you like.
Baked Eggs and Grits with Cheese
4 servings grits
4 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
4 whole eggs - room temperature
1/2 cup shredded or julienne cheese
oil or cooking spray
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make 4 servings of grits according to package directions leaving out any cooking salt or butter. Once grits are done, add butter and salt and stir. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.
Coat an 8 inch diameter cast iron skillet or other heavy pan with oil or cooking spray and put pan into heated oven for 5 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and pour grits into pan. Make 4 indentations in grits and drop one egg into each indentation.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until egg whites are set and yolks are still loose.