21 September 2009

Stuffed Grits Cups

I would eat grits every day, so when I cook them, I tend to "overproduce" as they make a wonderful planned-overs for another day. One of my favorite planned-over dishes is stuffed grits cups. The make a great breakfast, lovely luncheon and nice hors d'oeuvres.

This recipe can be made from scratch, but the grits need to sit overnight, so it really lends itself to leftover grits. You will need about 1 1/2 cups of prepared grits, so cook extra! This dish works best if you have one of those mini-cheesecake pans. The ones that look like little muffin tins but posses removable bottoms. You can use the mini-muffin pans but extraction is a bit more time consuming.

The basic process is as follows. Cook the grits and pour them into the tins. Let them cool for a while, then form a thumb-sized impression into the grits. Use the end of a wood spoon or, if your hands are clean, just use you finger (be careful as they may still be quite hot). Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge. The next morning, remove the cups from the pan and place on a baking sheet. For breakfast, fill the indentation with cooked sausage balls, or quail eggs and heat in the oven. For luncheon, try the same filling, but serve the cups on a bed of pipérade or ayvar. For an hors d'oeuvre, fill the indentation with sour cream and top with caviar.

Stuffed Grits Cups

3/4 cup quick grits
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)
3 ounces sausage
6 quail eggs

Bring the water and salt to a rapid boil. Stir the boiling water and add the grits in a constant, gradual stream until they are incorporated into the water. Grits will clump up if you just dump them into the water, so add them slowly.

Immediately, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the grits. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add the grated cheese and stir till melted into the grits

Pour into the mini-cheesecake pan. Let cool for about 15 minutes and form an indentation in each cup.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350

Remove the grits from the tins and place on an oiled sheet pan.

Form the sausage into meatballs and sauté. Stuff the meatballs into half of the grits cups. In the the other half, carefully break a quail egg and fill the indentation.

Bake until eggs are set, about 10 minutes.

It's now up to you. Use whatever cheese or sausage you like... or have on hand. Add Parmesan and use Italian sausage or try manchego and chorizo. Give this recipe a try. you won't be disappointed.

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