Don’t kick me out of the Midwest, but I don’t like corn on the cob. I am not sure how I grew up in Missouri and ended up that way, but I’m sure there is someone in New York City who likes to wear OshKosh B’gosh overalls.
Friends in Chicago are astonished I don’t like corn. “But you’re from the South,” they cry, referring to north Missouri and the Kansas City area. Everybody in Chicago thinks I’m from the South and that my slight twang is deep southern. And since my kinfolk originally comes from Kentucky, which really is the South, not liking corn is especially an abomination.
So I had to come up with a variation I could like. Cornbread is okay, and maybe soup with about ten percent corn. I don’t like grits because they’re runny and the only acceptable runny dish for me is oatmeal. So I decided to bake the grits, and doll them up with some extras. Here are grits anyone can like!
- 4 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
- 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large, heavy skillet, fry bacon. When done, set bacon slices aside. Drain all but about 2 tablespoons bacon grease. Place onion in pan and saute until golden brown, about 10-15 min. Remove cooked onions and set aside.
In the same skillet, put milk, butter and salt. Heat to bubbling (almost boiling), stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Sprinkle one-fourth of grits into mixture, stirring constantly. Continue adding grits, 1/4 cup at a time, and stirring. Constantly stir until mixture becomes thick and bubbling. Remove from heat. Stir in bacon, onion, and 1 cup of the grated swiss cheese.
Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Spread cooked grit mixture evenly into pan, then sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Slice and serve warm.
Leftovers note: If you have leftovers the next day (store in the refrigerator), make “fried” Grizzly Grits. Cut the baked grits into inch-size cubes. Place butter in a heavy skillet and heat till warm. Saute each chunk on every side to get a brown crispy crust.