Remember my friend Janey from Georgia? Her last day with us, she treated me to another of her family’s Southern favorites. Since then, I’ve tweaked the recipe just a bit, but the Southern Goodness is still the same.
I’ve got to warn you, this isn’t health food. This is indulgence. Think Christmas morning, job promotion, your husband’s birthday or maybe the end of the world (or at least the end of your diet).
Again, grits are a southern thing. I happen to love grits, essentially creamy corn meal flavored to be salty or sweet or both. My personal favorite is cheese grits and these are my new favorite cheese grits.
Janey’s Cheesy Jalapeño Grits
- 1 cup of quick 5-minute grits (like Quaker)
- kosher salt (2 large pinches) plus more to taste
- 4 cups of water
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of sour cream (you can use light, but not fat free)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (or maybe a little less, SEE NOTE), divided
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 ounces of chopped canned jalapenos (or chopped fresh with the seeds removed)
- 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 cups corn flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring one cup of grits, 4 cups of water and a large pinch of kosher salt to a boil and then reduce to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. The grits will thicken.
Reserve 1/4 cup of the grated cheddar. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sour cream.
In a third bowl, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and toss the melted butter with the corn flakes. You are almost ready to roll.
Once the grits are cooked, take them off the heat and add the remaining butter.
NOTE: When Janey made these luscious grits, this second dose of butter equalled 7 tablespoons, but the next time I made this dish, I used only 4 tablespoons of butter melted into the grits. This may not be a big difference, but it made me feel better about having seconds. That’s not crazy, right?
Then add the whole milk, the big portion of cheese, the garlic, garlic powder, egg/sour cream mixture and the chopped jalapenos.
Stir until well combined and all the cheese is melted.
Now taste the grits and add any salt and pepper you deem necessary. You could also add more garlic if that’s how you roll. Also, if you want more heat, this would also be your opportunity to add more jalapenos.
Pour into a casserole dish (no need to butter the dish) and top with the reserved shredded cheddar. Top all that ridiculously sinful deliciousness with the buttered cornflakes.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.
45 minutes never seemed so long as when you are waiting and thinking about those delicious cheesy grits!
Serve warm and feel free to refrigerate any leftovers for later reheating.