The recipe of the month is taken from COOKED BOOKS, a cookbook featuring recipes from the staff of Princeton University Press. Enjoy!
Copywriters’ Crutch Casserole
Or Baked Cheese Grits
Most non-Southerners believe grits are disgusting. So something called “baked cheese grits” must be doubly so, right? Not so, boldly asserts Bob Bettendorf, the world’s leading fake Southerner and grits authority. With his magisterial, pathbreaking, incisive, penetrating, compelling, beautifully illustrated, timely, controversial, provocative, previously unknown, unprecedented, comprehensive, elegantly written, far-reaching, sweeping, pioneering, unique, revealing, forthright, readable, landmark, and scholarly-yet-accessible recipe Copywriter’s Crutch Casserole, Bettendorf persuasively demonstrates that grits are not only edible, but also consumable. Based on original archival research, cutting-edge laboratory work, firsthand field study, industrial espionage, and hours of sitting in the dark thinking hard, this recipe—the first grits recipe ever published in New Jersey (or in standard English)—will change forever the way three or four people look at the humble corn staple.
1 cup of good quality stone-ground yellow grits
(Not processed white grits.You may be able to find good grits at better gourmet stores or online: copywriters can usually tell you where to look.)
3 cups water
1⁄2 –1 stick butter (you decide)
1⁄2 cup milk or cream
2 teaspoons salt (less any salt you use when
a dash of pepper
2⁄3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2⁄3 cup grated Gruyère cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Prepare grits as directed on bag (for some brands, this may mean bringing 1 cup of grits and 3 cups of water to a boil and then simmering them for 30–60 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may add a pat or two of butter and a few dashes of salt.)
Pour hot grits into a bowl and stir in all other ingredients.
Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan or casserole dish.
Bake for 45–60 minutes at 350 degrees (F) or until it doesn’t jiggle too much. It can
jiggle a bit because it will set more as it cools.
Highly recommended: Reheat refrigerated leftover squares by frying them in butter, in a cast-iron skillet.
Even more highly recommended: Take a refrigerated square (about 4 x 4 inches), cut out a circle in the middle using an upside-down drinking glass with a diameter of about 1. inches: start frying square in a buttered skillet, and then crack an egg in the circle, flipping several times as it fries.