Grits are coarsely ground cornmeal which have been boiled. If you are not familiar with them, then you are probably not from the southeast corner of the United States. I had my eyes opened to their splendor when I lived in Jacksonville, Florida for two years. In the south they are a popular breakfast food, but can even be seen on a dinner menu as “Shrimp and Grits”. My favorite variation of grits is Cheese Grits, which I think are an excellent side dish for a hearty breakfast.
Cheesy Grits Casserole takes it one step further and becomes a main dish worthy of any family gathering. Cheesy Grits Casserole has it all: grits, cheese, ham, and eggs. These ingredients all couple nicely together to make a complete meal. In this recipe the grits are essentially cooked twice, making them even easier to chew. If you want to chew this as little as possible, run the ham through the food processor instead of just dicing it. I hope you like this as much as I do!
In a large saucepan on medium/high heat, bring the water, milk, and salt to a boil.
Stir in the quick grits. Cook for 5-6 minutes (while stirring) until it thickens.
Get your shredded cheddar cheese.
Stir in the cheese, butter, and garlic powder.
Once the cheese and butter are melted, stir in the ham. Let the grits cool down enough that you can put your finger in it without getting burned. You can put it in the fridge to speed the cooling up. Once the grits have cooled down, mix in the eggs.
Once the grits have cooled down, mix in the eggs.
Pour the finished mixture into a 9×13 pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray. .
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 350°F
I like to top it with cheese and green onions!
Cheesy Grits Casserole is soft, moist, and contains multiple soft textures. Any meat present has been prepared so that there are no pieces larger than ¼ inch (or 6mm). These foods are soft enough that, with minimal effort, they can be easily formed into swallowable-sized portions.
Grits are as authentically American as any food can be. They were made by Native Americans, who would coarsely grind their dried corn after harvesting it from their fields.
This casserole tastes just as good if the ham is diced in 1/4 inch pieces or if you puree it in a blender or food processor. Feel free to do whatever works for your situation!
Most casseroles proudly bear the title “easy to chew”. Casseroles are generally soft, easy to make, and can be delicious (if made correctly of course). The only requirement to be admitted into the College of Casserole Makers is to own a glass 9×13 pan. They are nearly indestructible, easy to clean, and cook things very efficiently (quicker than their metal counterparts). If you don’t own one, I think it would be a worthwhile addition to your kitchen arsenal.