You can't really say Florida is part of the Deep South, but since all four of my grandparents were born and raised in Georgia, and both my parents were born and spent part of their childhoods there as well, I guess I'm partly Southern in my taste in food. I wasn't raised on fried chicken or anything like that, but we did have grits mixed with scrambled eggs for breakfast sometimes, and New Year's Day never passed without black-eyed peas, cornbread, and greens.
When I found this grits and cheese casserole recipe several years ago (in More with Less), I had to try it. It's comfort food at its best (for me, anyway). With my own addition of sauteed onions and bacon, it ups the tasty factor even more.
I served it tonight with zucchini slices that I sauteed with the leftover bacon fat, a bit of olive oil, some minced garlic, sliced ripe tomatoes, Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt, black pepper, and a splash or two of lemon juice.
For the kiddiewinks, I just used my immersion blender to mix the casserole with the veggies into a thick porridge that I called "cheese soup". It went down like a treat.
For the casserole, you'll need:
4 c. water
1 c. grits (I had exactly that amount that K and S sent me a while back - thanks again, guys!) - the recipe actually called for hominy grits but I didn't have any of those
1/3 c. margarine
2 c. shredded cheese
1 t. Worcester sauce
6 drops hot pepper sauce
1 t. salt
3 eggs, beaten
I also added some black pepper, and 1/2 an onion sauteed with several chopped pieces of bacon
Bring water to a boil, add the grits and stir for 5 minutes, cooking on low, not forgetting to stir so that everything doesn't end up in one huge yellow clumpy mess. Add the rest of the ingredients and then pour it into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with paprika, and then bake at 275 F/135 C for one hour.
Our family gives it a 9/10.
Hope y'all enjoy it, too!