Sunday, December 20, 2009

Seriously Southern Grits and Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Sunday night is the perfect night for breakfast for dinner, especially if you've been snowed in for a couple of days. I shopped well before the storm so we've eaten well. DH made Avogolemono Soup on Friday night, and we made our favorite Sorrento Pork Chili last night. Leftover soup is a great thing to have on hand on snowy days!

I've always loved breakfast for dinner on a Sunday night. We tend to make Sunday night breakfast for dinner when we've been out of town and get back a little too late to cook anything very involved. This week, I needed to make my Dark Days Challenge meal for the week  Given the ingredients I had on hand, I decided to make what I call my Seriously Southern Grits and Sausage Casserole. I had some locally produced pork breakfast sausage that we browned and added as the botton layer. Then I cooked more of those great local stone ground grits in milk from a local dairy, then added some Ashe County sharp cheddar, Homestead Creamery butter, and locally-grown garlic as well as some non-local salt, pepper and wooster. I beat several eggs from a farm in Crumpler, NC and mixed that into the grits before layering it over the sausage. As a treat, I let the kids have some of the chocolate milk with dinner. There were four or five local apples left over from Thanksgiving that DH sauteed in more of the Homestead Creamery butter as well as some non-local brown sugar and cinnamon. Not beautiful, but a Seriously Southern, very homey meal that was much-appreciated by all.

 Seriously Southern Grits and Sausage Casserole

  • 1 pound pork breakfast sausage
  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups water (see note below about grits to liquid ratio)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 large eggs, whisked
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the sausage and brown it, breaking it up with spatula.  Drain any excess grease. 
  3. Bring the chicken broth, milk and grits to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, stirring frequently, about 30-40 minutes until the grits are the desired consistency. Note: grits to liquid ratio and cooking times vary between brands of stone ground grits.  Consult the packaging on your brand and use half water and half milk.  Cook for time indicated.
  4. Add the butter, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire, stirring to combine. You may need to add an additional 1/4 liquid (either water or chicken broth) to thin the grits to the desired consistency.
  5. Turn off the heat and let the grits cool a bit.
  6. Spray a 9X13 glass pan with cooking spray.
  7. Spread the sausage over the bottom of the pan.
  8. Stir the whisked eggs into the grits.
  9. Spread the grits and eggs mixture over the sausage layer.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 60 minutes (including grits cooking time which may vary)
Cook time: 40 minutes

This is a great do-ahead for breakfast or dinner.  I have cooked the casserole completely, then warmed individual portions in the microwave as needed when the kids have an early morning event but need a hearty breakfast.  I've also cooked the casserole about half-way so that it is partially set, then finished cooking the next morning or evening to serve. 

1 comment:

(no)more_cheese_please said...

That looks so good!! I bet you could make it even healthier by figuring out ways to replace the eggs & butter...