Thursday, January 5, 2012

Breakfast = Cast Iron Baked Grits + Illg's Bacon + Farmer's Cheese

Makes about 10 portions
What You Need:
Kosher Salt, 2 ½ tsp
Chicken or Vegetable Stock, 1 ¼ quart
Anson Mills Stone Ground Grits, 1 cup
Butter, 1 cup
Illg's Smoked Bacon, 1 pound, diced 1/4"
Fresh Farmer's Cheese (Birchrun Hills), 3 cups (you can substitute your favorite mild grating cheese)
Milk, 1 ¼ cup
Eggs, 3  ea
Shallots, chopped, 4 ea.
Worcestershire Sauce, ¾ tsp.
Tabasco Sauce, to taste
Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Ground Black Pepper, to  taste

How You Make It:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cook the diced bacon lardons in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until browned. Add the shallots and cook until tender. Drain the grease and set aside.
3. Put the stock in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil, adding 2 teaspoons of the salt.
4. Stir the grits into the water, lower the heat, and simmer until fully cooked (about 45 minutes).
5. Remove the grits from heat and stir in the butter and the 2 cups of Farmer's Cheese until melted and thoroughly combined.
6. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and cayenne pepper in a mixing bowl.
7. Stir the egg mixture into the grits until well combined. Add the cooked bacon and stir. Season with the remaining salt and black pepper.
8. Pour the grits into the cast iron skillet and bake until firm, about 1 hour.
9. Top with the remaining Farmer's Cheese and bake until the cheese has melted and browned slightly, about 3 minutes. Serve hot.