Foodieobsessed's Blog

Cheese grits (or pap, or polenta)

Have you ever had cheese grits? Or polenta? Or pap? They are all the same delicious mixture of cornmeal cooked in water or milk with a ton of cheese mixed in, some eggs, and baked (at least in my world). You can certainly omit the eggs and baking portion and have this “soft” but I like to make it more of a casserole.

The Hubbs really got me making this regularly. He is very much into military history and specifically that of the Rhodesian army. This is a favorite of theirs and is generally eaten at Braai (barbecues) or as a side dish or for breakfast. If you have any Southern in you or Italian this is also very similar to grits/polenta, in fact they are the same thing!

When shopping for your grits buy any kind of cornmeal or grits or polenta. My bag says “stone ground polenta” but I have done this with success with plain old cornmeal from the store. You can mix up the cheese as you like. Parmesan is delicious on top instead of more cheddar. I use whatever I have in the fridge!

You can use a big Pyrex baking dish or a deep round baking dish for this.

I add hot sauce and mustard to my grits to compliment the cheddar cheese. Serve with your favorite grilled meats and a salad, yum! This is a fabulous dish for pot lucks and is great hot or at room temperature.

Cheese grits

5 cups water (or 3 cups water, 2 cups milk)
3 tbs butter
1 1/2 cup grits (or cornmeal)
3 dashes franks hot sauce (or siracha or your favorite hot sauce! Add more if you like it spicy!!!)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded or cut into small cubes)
2 eggs
2 tbs water (or milk)
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your baking dish with your nonstick spray of choice (I use pam). Place a large sauce pan over medium heat and add butter and water (and milk if using). Bring to a simmer.
2. When liquid is simmering whisk in grits slowly (keep whisking!! You don’t want lumps) and hot sauce, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Let simmer stirring often for 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese slowly until melted.
3. In small bowl mix eggs, 2 tbs water/milk, and Dijon.
4. Turn off heat under grits. Whisking vigorously or using a wooden spoon slowly incorporate egg mixture to grits. Immediately poor into your baking dish.
5. Top with remaining half cup of cheese and bake for 35 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

*I do an additional 3-5 minutes under the broiler to get the cheese brown and delicious looking!