“I’m always sketchy of people who don’t like grits.” -Jaycee Ford
This is one of my favorite sides and any leftovers make for a great breakfast the next day. I make this recipe at least twice a month to take to our church’s Sunday luncheon potluck buffet. A Paula Deen recipe was an inspiration as well as one from our good friend, Suzanne Carter, who specializes in gluten-free dishes. I typically serve this as a side or an appetizer and I often top it with shrimp or crawfish in some kind of sauce; this was how I first first introduced to the dish at the Cambridge Club in Shreveport, Louisiana, many years ago.
(Comments – The garlic cheddar cheese log is a cold pack cheese food. It used to be on the shelves year round until Kraft stopped making it, so now I can only find it during the Nov-Jan holiday season. Since its storage life is 12-months, I now buy a dozen or more logs at a time for year round use. An alternative to the log is an 8-oz block of sharp cheddar cheese, grated, along with a ¼ tsp of powdered garlic. Extra Sharp white cheddar cheese is a must for the topping. Most grocery stores carry it under several brand names including Cabot and Kraft. If you are in a pinch, an alternative is to use regular yellow extra sharp (or sharp) cheddar cheese.)
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Grease a 9” x 13” casserole baking dish (I typically use an 8 ¼” x 12 ¼” disposable aluminum pan for potluck dinners). Bring the broth, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if used) to a boil in a 2-qt saucepan. Stir in the grits and whisk until completely combined. Reduce the heat to low and simmer (stirring frequently) until the grits are thick, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cubed cheddar and half & half and stir. Gradually stir in the eggs and butter and continue stirring until all are combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with the white cheddar and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. After cooling for awhile, I cut mine to about the size of brownies. Refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container and warm them for breakfast the next day! Optionally, there are numerous sauces that may be served over the grits including those with shrimp or crawfish.