Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Baked Creamy Grits

When I was about six, my sister threw some boiling water over a packet of instant grits, and served it to me for breakfast. She probably meant well, with the hot breakfast and all. By the time I had thrown it up all over Mrs. Batz classroom floor, and the custodian had to come and toss pencil shavings on it, I knew grits wouldn't hold a prominent place in future meals. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, I never ate them again.

Oh, I know-you shouldn't start a post at a cooking blog with a story involving vomit. Sorry about that. You're expecting me to tell you I ate these grits in the photo, and that they were wonderful, etc. I didn't eat them. The boys did, and they both liked them and I didn't need to go off in search of pencil shavings, which is great because my pencil sharpener is kind of dinky.

If you actually like grits, these will probably be quite enjoyable. It wasn't difficult to prepare, and the ingredients are economical enough. As I mentioned, they boys really tucked in, and half the dish was gone before I noticed. That says something, I suppose (it says that their older sister didn't cook them instant grits for breakfast forty years ago that they threw up all over Mrs. Batz's polished linoleum classroom floor).

But hey, look everybody! I used that really lovely French souffle dish I made my husband buy for me years ago that I've only pressed into service a few times since. It was blue. I'm sure you understand-blue souffle dishes from France don't turn up at Marshall's every day, you know.

The recipe comes from Lee Bailey, who presumably knew a thing or two about cooking grits and never threw them up all over the floor at Kenton Elementary School in 1970. At least, that's what I think.

You Will Need:

2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided into 2 cups and 1/2 cup
2 cups chicken stock (I used vegetable)
1 cup quick (not instant) grits
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt (I omitted this because my stock was salty-adjust to your taste)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 2 quart souffle dish.

In a medium pot, combine the 2 cups of milk, and the stock. Bring to a boil. In a stream, whisk in the grits and lower the heat to low. Whisk for 4 minutes until mixture thickens. Remove from heat, beat in butter and remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Beat well, then mix in the eggs.

Pour into casserole dish and bake 50-55 minutes or until top is puffed and golden.

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