Because with a few additions grits can be as Wisconsiny as a cheese curd! In this recipe the grits serve as the creamy but neutral base for your favorite Wisconsin flavors. Stir in a heavy handed portion of Wisconsin white cheddar, then top with a fried egg and Wisconsin-made applewood smoked bacon crumbles (as always, I recommend Nueske bacon!). You can even add some cooked spinach to get in your healthy greens.
This recipe was inspired by my all time favorite cheese grits, the gouda grits at Crema Cafe in Madison. See, I’m not the only Wisconsinite who enjoys grits! Try this recipe and I bet you will too!
Wisconsinized Cheddar Grits
The Required Toppings:
10 slices of bacon
salt and pepper
For the Spinach (Optional):
1 bag of pre-washed baby spinach
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
For the Cheese Grits:
1 1/2 cups quick cooking (not instant) grits
3 cups of whole milk
1 cup of your favorite Wisconsin cheese (I used white cheddar)
Salt and pepper
This is a great recipe for breakfast/brunch for a crowd, I recommend doing steps 1-2 the day before. Reheat the spinach and bacon before serving and fry up your eggs once all the other steps are completed. I made the grits the day of, but you could probably make those the night before too!
1. Prepare the bacon in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover 2 cookie sheets with aluminum foil and arrange bacon slices so they aren’t touching. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets part way through. When the bacon is done to your liking, put it on a paper towel lined plate. Once it’s cooled, crumble the bacon and set it aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet, at the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Then at the whole bag of spinach- this seems like a lot but as you cook the leaves will wilt down significantly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set the cooked spinach aside.
3. Pour the milk into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil. Stir the milk while slowly adding the grits to avoid clumps. Turn the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until grits reach your desired consistency. Stir occasionally. Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. To serve, ladle a nice portion of grits in a shallow bowl, top with spinach and bacon.
5. Cook the eggs once all your other elements are done and your guest are ready to eat. Heat a large skillet with cooking oil. Fry your eggs and don’t forget to add salt and pepper! Top each bowl with an egg or two.
Serve with sour dough toast, your favorite brunch cocktail and hot sauce on the side for guests who like it spicy!
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