During the work/school week, breakfast is usually something quick and easy around our house. On the weekends, though, I like to take time to prepare big breakfasts when I can. Usually eggs and bacon are involved, as well as potatoes cooked in some fashion, or pancakes or waffles.
I also love casseroles. On occasion, we’ll go to brunch at someone’s house and my go-to recipe to bring is a grits casserole. It is so simple, but is hearty, has great flavor and everyone loves it, including my tiny picky eater. I got this recipe from a friend who brought it to an Easter brunch.
This is a great recipe to double because it freezes really well. It makes enough to serve 8-10 people as a side, or 4-6 people as a main dish.
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup quick grits
1 pound breakfast sausage (this is ground sausage with no casing)
2 cups Colby/Jack cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large sauce pan, bring chicken stock to a rolling boil.
Add grits, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a separate pan, cook sausage completely.
In a large bowl, mix sour cream, soup, and cheese. Add the sausage and grits. Stir. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish and bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and golden brown around the edges.
The above is the basic recipe my friend gave me. I always like to change things up and make things different because that’s just my style, I guess. There are so many things you could change up with this casserole. I’ve tried several and they have all been very good.
I’ve made a Mexican version of this dish with chorizo, green chilies and pepper jack cheese and it is one of my favorites. You can add cumin or chili powder to kick up the flavor or the heat.
I’ve also made an Italian version with Italian sausage, canned diced tomatoes (drained), chopped basil, oregano and mozzarella cheese. I liked this one a lot, too, and love making it when I can pull the herbs fresh from my garden.
I haven’t made this one, but thought I might try this weekend to do a French take on it with a sage breakfast sausage, leeks, mushrooms, tarragon and Swiss cheese. I think sautéing the leeks and mushrooms first would be a good idea. Mushrooms have a lot of water in them, so cooking them first allows them to release that water instead of making the casserole a watery mess. Caramelizing the mushrooms with the leeks will add a ton of flavor. If you want to get really fancy, you could sauté them in a little sherry for extra flavor.
If you try this recipe, I’d love to know what you think of it.