Grits are more than just a plain side dish for eggs. They can be served in a multitude of ways; our favorite version is with bacon, onions and cheese mixed right in. If you prefer, you can cook the grits, covered, in the top part of a double boiler set over simmering water to keep them from sticking to the pot.
Cheese Grits with Bacon & Green Onions
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) whole milk
1 cup (7 oz./220 g.) white hominy grits, preferably stone-ground
3 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon, coarsely chopped
1 cup (4 oz./125 g.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Hot pepper sauce
2 green onions, white and green parts, minced
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic softens and is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml.) water, the milk, and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in the grits and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking every 5 minutes, until thick and tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry the bacon over medium heat, stirring, until crisp and golden, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
When the grits are done, stir in the Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, the bacon, and the green onions. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce and salt. Serve at once. Serves 6.
Variation: For even cheesier grits, you can substitute shredded Monterey jack cheese for the Parmesan.
Find more great recipes for sunrise specialties in our book Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers.