Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but work has been zapping my creativity. Last week, I made a cheese grits casserole at work and people have been begging for an “at home recipe”, so here it is. This is great as a starch with any meal, but even better when paired with a Southern meal. If you don’t think you like grits, give this a try. This IS NOT your normal breakfast style grits.
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups half & half
1 tsp salt
1 cup quick-cook grits
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small can yellow kernel corn, drained
parsley for garnish
In a large stock pot, bring the chicken stock and half & half to a rolling bowl. Whisk in the grits and cook, stirring constantly, for 5-7 minutes until the grits begin to thicken and bubble (be careful not to let them bubble on your hand/arms as they are like LAVA). Once thickened, remove from stove and pour grits into a mixing bowl.
To the grits, add the heavy cream, melted butter, cheese, bacon crumbles, diced tomato and the corn. Stir well to combine.
Pour grits into a lightly greased casserole dish and bake at 350F for 10 minutes.
Today I was asked for the basic bread pudding recipe I make, so I figured it best if I simply shared the recipe with everyone. As I’ve said before, I make a lot of bread pudding in the cafe and I have several variations to keep the customers excited, but this recipe is for simple, straightforward New Orleans bread pudding with whiskey cream sauce. Feel free to experiment with ingredients. Sometimes I leave out the raisins and instead use dried cranberries and sliced almonds. Sometimes I use blueberries and some orange marmalade. I’ve been known to make banana pecan and at times, coffee-chocolate, but the basic recipe remains the same.
1 loaf French bread or 12 large croissants, cubed
1 quart half & half
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups brown sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup of raisins
3 tbsp melted butter
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs with the half & half. Add the bread and fold to combine ingredients, then add the brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and raisins. Mix well. Coat a 9″x13″ glass baking dish with PAM. Pour the bread pudding mixture into the dish and drizzle the top with the melted butter. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the center is set but still moist. If bread starts to get too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Whiskey Cream Sauce
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
1/4 cup quality bourbon (or rum)
Mix the butter and sugar in a double-boiler until very hot and sugar is well dissolved. In your left hand (or right if you’re left handed), slowly pour the egg and cream into the butter/sugar mixture while whisking very fast with your opposite hand. This is essentially a quicker way to “temper” the eggs so they don’t curdle. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Mixture will slightly thicken as it cools. Just before serving, whisk in the bourbon (or rum).
To serve, plate up the bread pudding and drizzle with the whiskey sauce.