Garlic-Cheddar Grits Soufflé
Published by Harper Perenniel
Humble grits are fluffed up with beaten eggs, Cheddar cheese, and garlic, then baked to create a tempting side dish.
“Grits and I grew up together,” recalls Mavis Young. “My family used to have grits for breakfast, as cereal. However, we never put sugar on it, only salt and butter. Sometimes, for a change, we would have grits and gravy in the morning. I started to fancy it up and call it a Soufflé when my sister and I opened our catering business. I began experimenting by adding eggs, milk, and cheese to give it a different consistency. The milk especially seems to penetrate the grits and make them softer. I think when people say ’soufflé’ they think they are getting something special. And it is. But in the end it’s just dressed-up grits.”
Serves4 to 6
Total Timeunder 2 hours
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationside dish
Mealbreakfast, brunch, dinner
Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, garlicky, rich, sharp
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup grits (not “instant”)
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 325°. Lightly butter a 7- by 11-inch baking dish.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes; set aside.
Meanwhile, bring the water and salt to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the grits, and reduce the heat to low. Cover, and cook, stirring often to discourage scorching, for 20 minutes. Stir in ½ cup of the evaporated milk, cover, and cook, stirring often, until quite thick, about 15 minutes. Transfer the grits to a medium bowl.
Whisk in the remaining ½ cup evaporated milk and the pepper. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared dish.
Bake until the casserole is set and the top is lightly browned, about 50 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup cheese, return the dish to the oven, and bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
1991 Eric V. Copage