Given all the events that have transpired in the past week I have been in the mood for some major comfort food. This is my favorite breakfast casserole which I normally only get to eat once a year. This casserole also happens to be a Scales Christmas tradition, only made on Christmas morning by the Mama Scales. Usually Michael and I switch off Thanksgiving and Christmas between our two families, so we were in Oklahoma this past Christmas and missed out. I did however convince my MIL to make a halved portion for us once we got back! This is such a creamy, cheesy, delicious casserole. Sausage and grits are a great combination and mixed with all the other ingredients the casserole becomes a creamy, hearty breakfast that I could feast on all day long!
Country Grits and Sausage CasserolePrinter Friendly Version
2 pounds mild ground pork sausage
4 cups water
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits, uncooked
4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
Brown sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles. Drain well, and set aside.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan, and stir in grits. Return to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add cheese, milk, thyme and garlic powder, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in sausage and eggs.
Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13x9x2 inch baking dish; sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden and heated. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.
To Make Ahead: Prepare grits mixture as directed above, but do not bake. Cover and chill overnight. Remove from refrigerator; let stand, covered 30 minutes. Uncover and bake as directed.
Source: Christmas with Southern Living 1999, Oxmoor House, January 1999