At RiverSong Inn in Estes park, Colorado, breakfast starts with Continental Divide Strawberries (berries topped with a mixture of equal parts sweetened whipped cream and plain yogurt), followed by hearty baked grits.
1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
3/4 teaspoon pepper
About 1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 cup quick-cooking grits
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 large eggs
2 cups (1/2 lb.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (7 oz.) diced green chilies
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
How to Make It
Crumble sausage into a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over high heat. Stir often until browned and crumbly, about 6 minutes. Drain off and discard fat. To sausage, add garlic, pepper, and hot sauce to taste. Set aside.
In a 2- to 3-quart pan, blend grits with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring. Add butter. Cover pan; reduce heat to low. Stir often until grits are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
In a large bowl, beat eggs to blend. Stirring, add cheese, chilies, sausage mixture, and grits. Pour mixture into a buttered shallow 9- by 13-inch baking dish or 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole.
Bake, uncovered, in a 350° oven until lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with red bell pepper and cilantro. Cut into pieces and serve with a wide spatula.
I used maple flavored veggie sausage, egg substitute and 2% sharp cheddar to cut fat and calories. Also sauteed the red bell pepper with the garlic and stirred it into the grits before baking. Outstanding side dish!
I would double and even triple this recipe for many occassions. Although not a big fan of grits it surprises all who try it. It can be adjusted to spicy or mild. I use to make it for New Years day for a neighborhood brunch. It was easy to make ahead of time and pop into the oven that morning to serve hot. We served giant cinnamon rolls.
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