Making breakfast for Mom on her big day this Sunday should involve a bit of creativity and planning -- she deserves something more than cold cereal and toaster pastries, after all. We like the ideas found in the Southern Living cookbook, Glorious Grits: America's Favorite Comfort Food (Oxmoor House, $22.95), particularly this rich casserole -- a recipe from Patsy Riley, the former first lady of Alabama. It could be served in the morning, at brunch or alongside grilled chicken or pork chops at supper.
-- June Naylor, Special to the Star-Telegram
Bacon-cheddar cheese grits casserole
4 cups milk, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked stone-ground white grits
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, thyme or sage, or a combination (or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs)
1 cup shredded cheddar, gruyere or Swiss cheese, or a combination
3 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
1. Combine 3 cups milk with the salt in a large, heavy saucepan; cook over medium-high heat just until milk starts to boil. Gradually whisk in grits and butter. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until thick, stirring often.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove grits from heat and add remaining milk, stirring to cool grits. Stir in eggs, herbs and half of the cheese. Pour grits mixture into a lightly greased square baking dish; cover with remaining cheese.
3. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle crumbled bacon on top of casserole and serve hot.