Jalapeno Baked Cheese Grits

 baked grits

Grits are made from ground corn, a food of Native American origin. It is a very common food in the Southern United States. I grew up in the south but really never cared too much for grits until I was an adult and had moved away. When I did eat grits as a child it was at one of my Aunt’s house. She always made a pot of grits for breakfast and homemade biscuits, without fail. She was a true Southern lady and cook.

Grits have a very interesting history. The early Native Americans ate a corn mush made of softened corn or maize. When Sir Walter Raleigh met the Indians in Roanoke, North Carolina in 1584 they were fed a boiled corn or hominy. One of Sir Raleigh’s men, Arthur Barlowe made a special note of the corn, “which he found very white, faire, and well tasted.”

Source for the preceding information is courtesy of Linda Stradley and her website What’s Cooking America. The complete article can be found here.

I tried jalapeno cheddar grits at a small local restaurant, the Horseshoe Smokehouse,  and they were so good. I couldn’t get their recipe so I went on a hunt for a similar recipe. This recipe is very similar in taste to the one at the restaurant. I think it may even be better.

This is a wonderful side dish to serve at dinner. It is great served with BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, grilled shrimp or grilled steak.

Jalapeno Baked Cheese Grits

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 cup quick-cooking grits such as Quaker Grits
4 cups water
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp seasoned pepper
1/2 tsp seasoned garlic powder
1 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 large eggs, well beaten
1  4 oz canned  chopped hot green chilies
1 green onion chopped, for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

For the grits:  Slowly stir the grits and seasonings into briskly boiling water.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook 5 to 7 minutes until thickened; staring frequently.  Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter is melted. Add the green chilies and grated cheeses, stirring to incorporate into the grits, reserving 1/4 cup of the Cheddar cheese for the top. Temper the beaten eggs by beating in a couple of tablespoons of the hot grits. Add the tempered eggs to the grits. Pour into a 10 cup, 9-inch springform pan that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the top with the reserved Cheddar cheese. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool slightly before slicing and serving. Garnish the slices with chopped green onions.

Notes:
1. A buttered 9-inch baking dish or a cast iron skillet can be used in place of the springform pan.
2. The casserole is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
3. Any leftovers warm up very nicely in the microwave oven.

baked grits 1

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