The Comfort of Cheesy Grits
I’ve been thinking about comfort foods a lot lately. I have also had several requests for recipes. One request I got was for one of my favorite recipes – Grits Gruyere. I usually make this dish on the last day of each trip to accompany the croissants and pain au chocolat that I happily spoil my guests with.
I’m a born and raised Pacific Northwest girl. I don’t think anyone in my family had ever eaten grits. That all changed one day when Jeffrey and I went to Lake Charles, Louisiana to visit one of our favorite passengers, Stacy.
It was there that I discovered Cheesy Grits. With my first bite, my taste buds lit up with joy and thoughts came rushing in. “How on earth have I not ever had this? Why are cheesy grits not in every restaurant? How come I’m them not making every trip?”
When we returned home, I began looking for recipes. Stacy sent me several. From there, I began experimenting with different ingredients. I discovered that I could add shrimp, or sausage, bacon or caramelized onions. Grits were the medium and they could be modified to fit my creativity. I experimented with different cheeses – cheddars of different varieties, gouda, feta, and finally gruyere. While gruyere is not a traditional cheese for cheesy grits, it is my favorite and I don’t mind bending the rules a little.
Since that visit to Lake Charles, I have made Cheesy Grits on the boat every week. They are simple and in that simplicity there is comfort.
4 Cups of Milk
1 Tablespoon of Butter
1 Tablespoon Chicken Base
3 Garlic Cloves – pureed
Salt, Pepper, and Tobasco to Taste
1 Cup Grits either white or yellow
1 Cup Gruyere Cheese – Grated
¼ Cup Parmesan – Shredded
Heat oven to 400 degrees and have a 9×12 pan sprayed with non-stick ready.
- In a saucepan heat up milk, butter, chicken base, garlic, salt, pepper, and tabasco until butter is melted.
- Add grits and stir until they become thick. About 10 minutes.
- Take off heat and add egg, gruyere, and mix. You can add lots of optional things here too like caramelized onions, cooked bacon, ham, shrimp.
- Pour mixture into 9×12 pan and sprinkle with parmesan. Put into the hot oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. If you want you can also brown the top with the broiler if it’s taking too long.