Monday, November 1, 2010

Ain't nuthin' but ground up corn

I ain't never had no grits before.

And the one time I tried to make polenta I failed so completely I somehow got a stomach ache and had to throw the whole pan out.

But when Pioneer Woman posted Creamy Cheesy Grits with Chilies, I wanted to try it. Plus I had just purchased a Martha Stewart dutch oven (in green!) and wanted an excuse to take something from stovetop to oven.

Cheesy Grits with Chilies
Modified from the Pioneer Woman
...but only because I didn't have some cheesy ingredients.

1 cup Grits (I used quick polenta grits I bought in bulk, but you can use regular)

4 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 oz cream cheese
2 Laughing Cow wedges
1/2 can diced tomatoes
4 oz can diced green chilies
cayenne pepper
black pepper
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
Boil water and add salt. Add grits and stir, then reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.

Stir in tomatoes, chilies, and cheeses.  Stir in spices and check for seasonings. Add salt if needed (it'll probably need it. I salted the container of leftovers, then again when they were reheated on my plate).

Beat egg.  Drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of hot grits to temper, stirring constantly.  Dump it all back into the pot and stir.  Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and golden on top (I used my dutch oven for both stove top and oven, sans butter, and didn't have a problem getting it out of the pan). 

Important: allow pan to sit for 15 minutes before serving!! Grits will firm up slightly as they sit.  Stir a bit in the pan if needed. 

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