Thursday, September 12

Delicious Cheese Grits...4 Rivers Style!

Not my normal kind of post, but I just had to share. I love, love, love a barbecue place local to our area called 4 Rivers. And, my favorite dish there is their baked cheese grits. So, when I happened to stumble upon a recipe for it on our local newspaper's website, I just knew I had to try it at home. All I can say is DELISH! It was so good, so I will share it with y'all.

Cheese grits before baking in the oven.

Serves 10 to 12 (we actually cut 9 squares out of ours, but they were large ones)

4 cups of chicken broth
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup yellow stone ground grits (suggestion: Anson Mills)
1/2 cup Cheddar cheese
4 ounces (6 slices) Velveeta® cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk

1.) Preheat oven to 325° F.

2.) Bring chicken broth, salt and pepper to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the salt and pepper before boiling to allow the grits to absorb the flavor. For extra creamy grits you could also substitute 1/4 of the boiling liquid with cream or half and half.

3.) Stir in grits, reduce heat to simmer, cover pan and cook 15 minutes, or until broth is absorbed, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat.

4.) Add Cheddar, Velveeta®, butter, and garlic powder, stirring until cheeses are melted. Set aside.

5.) Beat eggs lightly in a small bowl. Whisk a small amount of eggs into hot grits, mixing well. Gradually whisk remaining eggs into grits whisking continuously. Whisk in milk.

6.) Pour into greased 8-inch-square baking dish. Bake 30 minutes. Let stand at least 20 minutes before serving.

To serve in a specific shape, cover and refrigerate until cooled. Cut in desired shape in pan and warm in oven on low heat before serving.

Now, for some things I did differently or substituted because I didn't have ingredients on hand:

Instead of 4 cups of chicken broth, I used two of chicken and two of vegetable. I didn't have enough cans of chicken broth on hand. I don't think that made a huge difference.

I also only had regular grits on hand (not instant) in the white variety. They were still very good, but I am betting the yellow is better!

No cheddar or Velveeta® on hand so substituted a shredded monterey and cheddar blend I had and 6 American cheese slices. I am sure Velveeta® would have been creamier, but I doubt the taste was affected much.

I put in more butter than it called for (by about double), because,'s butter! Probably won't do that next time around. Came very close to being almost too buttery. Stick with the recipe's suggestion of 2 tablespoons.

I put in exactly the amount of garlic required, and I like garlic, but I think next time I may cut that back a tad. Just personal preference.

The key to really having these turn out is the extra step at the end of letting them stand at least 20 minutes before serving. I would probably even go 30 minutes. The consistency hardens up a bit, making them easier to cut.

All in all, I was very happy with the way they turned out and now I don't have to wait to make it down to 4 Rivers to get my cheese grit fix! :)

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I am a portrait and fine art photographer, servicing the Central Florida area. I have had a love of photography for as long as I can remember. Having spent 15+ years of my adult life as a graphic designer, I knew I had a creative mind and a visual eye for things. While design was my forte, I always carried a camera everywhere, and somehow was the "designated photographer" at just about every event I attended. But, it wasn't until I picked up my first "real camera," a Nikon DSLR, in 2008, that I really knew photography was what I was meant to do with my life! I photographed everything in sight, after getting that camera. But, I knew early on that I was meant to photograph people. I just genuinely love faces! All faces. I could look at faces all day long. Faces are just beautiful to me. Doesn't matter the age, the color, the shape or the size. I find nothing more fascinating then faces.
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