Because I oversee the sunday school for the children at church (aka P. Prez) when the phone rings Sunday morning I usually cringe because I fear it is one of my primary teachers calling me to tell me they won't be there, and I will have to scramble to come up with a solution. Often though, I am wrong and it is someone calling me with a cooking question. When I take the call, I myself am usually putting my own Sunday dinner in the oven. So am so happy it's a cooking question and not a primary emergency! This Sunday, I was making a new recipe, cheese grits, that I got from my friend Dierdra. She is a very cautious and thoughtful person, the kind of person that ALWAYS writes a thank you note (I am the person who NEVER writes a thank you note). She is very sweet and mild mannered, but in moments (like bunko moments) goes wild and I have seen her fight like a pit bull for her children, she is great. She is also really fun to tease. So just as I was making the recipe she shared with me , the phone rang. It's Dierdra. Of course, as the polite person she is, she has to go into the, "so sorry to bother you" stuff. No bother, what is up? She was making my baked chicken and wanted to know if she could transfer the chicken into the crock pot after she had browned it in the oven.
"Ya, you can, but why not just cook it in the the oven?"
"Oh Deirdre! You don't like to leave the house when the oven is on? You mean to tell me you have never left the house with the oven on?"
I continued to ridicule her, then I assured her that I leave to oven on EVERY Sunday when I'm at church. It was time for her to take a walk on the "wild side."
When I saw her at church, with a smile on her face, knowing I would be so proud, she told me that she was cooking the chicken in the oven. To which I said,
"Wait, you don't have a gas oven do you?"
The blood drained from her face . . .
I was just lucky she really did have a gas oven, or I wouldn't be able to tease her!
"Just kidding!! you'll be fine! Don't worry!!" She laughed, but in the back of her mind I could see she was imagining her house engulfed in flames.
Anyway, so this is Deirdre's Baked Cheese Grits recipe. What's great about this recipe, with addition of eggs, it kind of makes it like a soufflé. Really great.
1 c quick cooking cheese grits (cooked according to directions)
big handful of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 t granulated garlic (approx. according to taste)
1 stick butter
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 c milk
Once grits are cooked, add cheese, garlic and butter. Give them a taste test. Let them cool. Once cooled, combine eggs and milk and add to the grits. Pour into a 2 quart buttered casserole dish. Optionally, sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered at 375 F for 1 hour. Top should be brown, and should look puffed up. Serves 8.