Thursday, February 2, 2012

Baked sausage and grits casserole: a recipe

Baked sausage and grits casserole
Now that Detox January is over for another year, it's clearly time to re-embrace some old favorites.

Welcome back, sausage. Oh, how we have missed you.

Regular readers will know that I extra-love any recipe that is yummy but also quick and easy to prepare -- and that has sausage or bacon in it, but that's just me.

Behold, the baked sausage and grits casserole.

I got this recipe from my friend Kristen, who got it from her friend Eric. And it appears that each of us makes it slightly differently.

Kristen uses andouille turkey sausage and Eric uses half sausage and half shrimp, which I bet makes a killer faux shrimp-and-grits. I chose to go with hot Italian sausage because it was local, fresh and plentiful this week at the butcher. Also, if you cook the casserole for the full time, it turns out like the consistency of a quiche or breakfast casserole (see photo above); if you want more of that traditional loose grits texture, just cook it a little less.

Now isn't that the hallmark of a good recipe? Modify the beejesus out of it and it still holds together as someone's favorite.

Don't forget to cook the sausage before you get started

Make sure your saucepan is big enough to add the extra ingredients at the end

Mmmmmm ... cheese

This one definitely falls into the comfort food category. And the quick-and-easy category. And the sausagey wickedness category. And I think it would be just as good as a breakfast casserole as it is for a weeknight dinner.

Just go ahead and make it and you'll see.

Baked Sausage and Grits Casserole (slightly adapted from Barbara Smith's B. Smith Cooks Southern-Style)

1/2 pound hot Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup uncooked quick grits
1 1/4 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Slowly stir in the grits, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened (5 minutes). Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste, as well as 3/4 cup of the cheese, stirring until melted. Let the mixture cool for about 5-6 minutes.

Add the eggs, parsley and Tabasco (to taste), stirring to combine. Spread the mixture evenly in the casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until slightly puffy and browned on top.

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  1. Thanks, Ninj & Kristen! I'm always happy to have yummy recipes that can also be made gluten-free:)

  2. Excellent point about making it GF, Jenn -- enjoy!

  3. Oh how I love grits! Can't wait to try this Ninj!

  4. Blaine, you will love this -- maybe you might even invite me for a visit and make it for me. Sniff.