Friday, September 23, 2011

Creamy Bacon Cheese Grits

Alternate post title: Heaven in Your Mouth-at least if you like grits.

I'm in a love love relationship with grits. There's no hate at all for the pounds that are probably added every time I eat them. Ever since I can remember, grits were a part of breakfast whenever we went to South Georgia to visit my Dad's side of the family. My Nanny (that's Grandma to all you uninformed folks) would make them for us and we would gleefully add spoonfuls of brown sugar to them until they turned a nice light brown color and were so sugary sweet they couldn't really be considered a breakfast food.

The only time I remember being appalled at my Nanny's grits was when she added pork brains to them. Yes, you heard right, pork brains. My sisters and I of course refused to eat them and I still can not figure out why anyone would ruin a perfectly good bowl of grits with pork brains.

In college, I was first introduced to the wonderful deliciousness of cheese grits. I lived right across from the 24 hour dining hall and around midnight-1:00 the Snelling staff would put out breakfast foods, including cheese grits. The majority or my all nighters were pulled at a dining hall table with a plate of cheese grits in front of me. And every morning after my 8:00 (ugh I know-I was an ignorant freshie who didn't understand the value of sleeping in) Astronomy class, I would hit up the dining hall for cheese grits and bacon. I'm pretty sure that's the reason for the weight I gained my freshman year.

When I got married, Neil took over making breakfasts. Every once and a while, he would add cheese grits to the morning meal and it would reaffirm my decision to marry him :)

But then, I came upon the grits recipe to rule all the other grits recipes. It's even better than the sugary brown sugar grits of my childhood. Why, it has BACON! And heavy cream. It's a Pioneer Woman Recipe so you know it's full of fat but also incredibly delicious.

If you ever watched the show "Wife Swap" or you just have a cousin who watches way too many YouTube videos, you'll probably recognize Mr. Curtis from this little clip below...

"She can't run in those little high heels."

Man I love that video. Anyways, enough randomness. Scroll down, past the picture of us feeding Lucy cheese grits from a spoon to get to the best recipe ever posted on this blog. The Pioneer Woman uses real grits but they only sale instant out here in California so I've included the modified directions for instant grits. Head over to her website if you are lucky enough to live in a place that recognizes the value of non-instant grits.

Creamy Bacon Cheese Grits

8 slices regular bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 whole yellow onion, chopped
1 cup instant grits
2.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
1.5 cups water
1 cup heavy cream (change depending upon preference)
1.5 cups grated cheese
dash cayenne, for heat
salt, as needed
pepper to taste

In a heavy pot, cook bacon over medium heat for a couple of minutes to render fat. Add onions and cook with bacon for a few minutes, or until bacon is chewy and onions are golden brown.

Add grits, chicken broth, and water. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook 5-7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Keep checking on the liquid level and if they get dry, add a little more broth. Once thickened, pour in cream. Cover pot and continue to simmer on low heat for another 8-10 minutes. When grits are done, add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese. Serve warm. Enjoy!

*By the way, these were on my 23x23 list as one of the things from my Pinterest "Yum" board!

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