- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish, ensuring every inch is well-coated with butter or cooking spray.
In a medium saucepan, combine the water and salt and bring it to a boil over high heat.
Slowly incorporate the stone-ground grits into the boiling water, while continuously stirring to prevent any lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer, covered, for approximately 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the grits from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
While the grits cook, take a moment to relish in the heavenly aroma of minced garlic. Immerse yourself in the memories of your loved ones’ kitchens, basking in the loving energy and secret recipes passed through generations.
Once the grits have reached a creamy and tender consistency, fold in the minced garlic, shredded cheddar cheese, unsalted butter, milk, beaten eggs, and black pepper. Stir until all the ingredients are well-incorporated, forming a luscious and savory mixture.
Pour the grits mixture into the prepared casserole dish, spreading it evenly to ensure consistent baking. Tap the dish lightly on the countertop to release any trapped air bubbles.
Slide the casserole dish into the preheated oven and let it bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown and the mixture is set in the center.
Carefully remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle some fresh parsley on top if desired for a hint of vibrant color and an herbaceous kick.
Finally, serve this heavenly dish piping hot, scooping generous portions onto plates and savoring each bite. Allow the creamy texture and rich flavors to transport you to a place of cherished moments and cherished flavors.
Tips and Variations:
- For an extra kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika to the grits mixture before baking.
- Jazz up the casserole with some protein by incorporating cooked bacon or diced ham.
- For a vegetarian twist, consider substituting vegetable broth for water and adding sautéed mushrooms or spinach to the mixture.
- If you prefer a more pronounced garlic flavor, roast the garlic cloves before mincing them for a caramelized and nuanced flavor profile.
Classic Garlic Cheese Grits Casserole holds a special place in my heart, acting as a catalyst for beautiful memories and invoking the spirit of the South. Whether shared with loved ones during holiday gatherings or enjoyed on a quiet evening alone, this comforting dish never fails to serve up indulgent flavors and sentimental warmth. Recreate this cherished recipe, and pay homage to the legacy of Southern cuisine and the love-packed gatherings that form the backbone of our culinary journeys.