Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cheese Grits Casserole - a weekend recipe

When corn is ground, the resultant fine powder is corn meal; the coarse remaining product is grits. I grew up eating either grits or fried potatoes for breakfast and I don’t recall my Mom cooking hash browns.

I recently ordered a birth certificate for my Dad and learned that his real father, a person that neither of us ever met, was from Maryland. Dad always liked sugar in his grits, a preference normally observed by people from north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Having a father from Maryland may explain this anomaly.

My second wife Anne, even though from Oklahoma, loved grits as much as I do. On a trip to Massachusetts to visit Cousin Angela, we stopped at a restaurant for breakfast and were happy to learn they served grits. When we ordered our side dishes, the young woman waiting on us got a big grin on her face.

“I’ll be right back,” she said. She returned with six other restaurant employees. “Say grits again, “she said. They all cracked up when we complied.

Yes, it’s a fact that the word grits has at least two syllables - if you are from the south, that is.

Here is a recipe for an Oklahoma version of the tasty North American polenta:

Cheese Grits Casserole

1 ½ c. grits
3 eggs, beaten
1 ½ sticks butter, softened
1 lb. cheddar cheese, shredded
3 tsp savory salt
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
Tabasco sauce to taste

Cook grits in 6 cups boiling water, in a saucepan, for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Combine remaining ingredients in bowl, mixing well. Stir into grits. Pour into casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Makes 8 – 10 servings


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