Bring 5 cups water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Cheddar cheese and remaining ingredients until cheese is melted and mixture is blended. Serve immediately.
*Stone-ground grits may be substituted. Increase liquid to 6 cups, and increase cook time to 50 minutes.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used White Lily Quick Grits.