“Feasting is also closely related to memory. We eat certain things in a particular way in order to remember who we are. Why else would you eat grits in Madison, New Jersey?”
Jeff Smith, ‘The Frugal Gourmet Keeps the Feast’ (1995)
If you have read my blog in past days, or if you really know me, you know that I’m a southern girl (currently in East Texas by way of N.C. and Florida) and I love grits, one of the main foods that epitomizes the Southern kitchen. I have eaten grits all of my life, and love the comfort they bring. They’re also a decent source of iron, and they are easy and quick to make. They are delicious whether eaten plain and simple or “dressed up” with cheeses, spices, meats, or any other creative things a cook can come up with. I recently blogged a tomato-cheese grits casserole,which my family really enjoyed. The recipe is a Paula Deen recipe, and was shared with me by my new friend Shea on her blog, The Dish. She’s on my blogroll; make sure you check her recipes out!
When Shea and I were having these discussions on Facebook about grits, she remembered a recipe from Southern Living, she thinks, for smoked Gouda grits, and shared that one with me on her blog, too: The Dish The recipe is not difficult, and the results are amazing for this version of cheese grits, too.
Smoked Gouda & Cheddar Grits Casserole
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked regular grits (I used quick grits; DO NOT use instant! They’re awful.)
- 2 cups chicken broth (I make my own broth & store in the freezer; canned is ok, too. Water will do in a pinch.)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/2 cup salted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 (10-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (I used 5oz Cabot Co-op sharp Cheddar & 5 oz. Cabot Co-op White Cheddar…their cheese is excellent! Farmer friendly, too.)
- 1 (4-oz.) smoked Gouda cheese round, grated
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1. Bring grits, chicken broth, and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in butter and cheeses until melted. Be careful not to let the grits scorch!
2. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot grits mixture into eggs; add egg mixture to remaining hot grits mixture, stirring constantly. Pour grits mixture into a lightly greased 2 1/2-qt. baking dish. (This egg-mixing step is important; it keeps you from having scrambled eggs in your grits!) 😉
3. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly around edges. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
I looked forward to the casserole’s coming out of the oven! As soon as it cooled a bit, my oldest son, Justin, and I dug in! I liked them, but Justin really liked them; he had three servings! That made me happy; I love giving the boys food that they like, but that is good for them, too. This casserole is loaded with calcium and protein, so he was getting good things for his body, too. This is one recipe I’ll keep on hand from now on. If you try it, let me know how it turns out for you!