Saturday, January 5, 2013

Garlic Cheese Grits

As I write this, I'm staring at Baby Bear on the monitor.  I realize that this defeats the purpose of me having a video monitor, as I should be productive while he sleeps.  Instead, I sit here and watch him sleep.  And I think to myself that, someday, he'll be a man.  Weird.  In a good way.

Merry Christmas.  Again.
So anyway, this recipe has nothing to do with my baby boy or a video monitor.  Or the fact that someday my children will actually grow up and become adults.  Or the fact that I used to roll my eyes at mothers that were sentimental about their children growing up...and now I'm one of those mothers.  I'm okay with this, as I've grown quite adept at eating my own words.

Whisk the grits into the boiling water and stock...and keep on whisking.
But this recipe does have everything to do with the fact that Kraft used to make this garlic cheese roll whose sole purpose in life was to make amazingly wonderful cheese grits.  Please tell me you know the rolls - processed cheese, garlic flavoring, wrapped up in a little round roll.  It was sort of gross if you thought too much about it, but it made the most perfect garlic cheese grits.

Whisk occasionally as they cook...they're starting to get creamy!
Since Kraft stopped making the roll, I have floundered in my attempts to reproduce the creamy, garlicky, perfect results.  Until now.

Add the butter...
These grits are amazingly delicious.  They are garlicky (this is very important), creamy (do I even need to mention the importance of creamy?), and they set up like a baked grits casserole should.  Although they do use actual, real cheese, they're creamy and oh so good.

And the milk...
I made these for one of our family Christmases, and it's now my go-to garlic cheese grits recipe.

And the cheese.
Oh, and at this point in the cooking process my camera broke.  So I don't have a picture of the actual casserole or the baked grits, but trust me they looked exactly like cheese grits should look and they tasted awesome.

Garlic Cheese Grits
3 cups water
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups grits (regular or quick cook but not instant)
1 lb extra-sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 cup whole milk (or half-and-half...or heavy cream)
4 eggs
1 stick butter

Bring the water and stock to a boil in a large pot.  Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Whisk in the grits and reduce the heat to simmer.  Simmer, stirring frequently, for about 25-30 minutes until thick and creamy.  Even if you use quick cook grits, you want to cook them for this long so that they get really thick and creamy.  Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, milk, and butter.  Switch to a whisk and beat the eggs in.  Continue to stir until the cheese is melted.

Pour the grits into a greased 9x13 casserole dish.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes until bubbly and set.  Let them cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

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