Sunday, April 18, 2010

28. Baked Grits and Greens

From 2009 Southern Living Annual Recipes

Cheese grits are a staple in the South, and they are best made with a roll of Kraft garlic cheese that, sadly, seems to have disappeared from grocery store shelves.

When I saw this grits variation, made with Parmesan cheese and spinach and topped with garlic croutons (!!), I knew I had to give it a try.

The key to making great grits is to stir them often. They're like risotto in this respect. Don't leave them on the stove and walk away. Keep stirring to make sure they come out creamy.

The spinach was largely undetectable, taste-wise, in this dish, but it gave it great color. The Caesar dressing really came through on flavor, and the croutons made for a great crunchy topping.

I served this as a side dish to grilled steak, but it would make a great addition to a brunch menu, as well. Definite keeper.

1 tsp. garlic salt
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (I omitted)
5 tablespoons butter, divided
2 large eggs
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bottled creamy Caesar dressing
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1-1/4 cups coursely crushed garlic-flavored croutons

Bring garlic salt and 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually stir in grits. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in onions and 3 tablespoons butter.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir about one-fourth of grits mixture gradually into egg mixture. Add remaining grits mixture, stirring constantly. Pour into a lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and toss with crushed croutons. Sprinkle over grits.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until mixture is set and croutons are golden brown.

No comments: