Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grits and Greens Casserole

From EatingWell: March/April 2010

Here we've combined two favorite Southern side dishes - grits and greens - into one casserole. Try omitting the bacon and using vegetable broth to make it a vegetarian dish.

Serves 6

4 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 cups chopped collard greens, stems removed (about 1 large bunch, 1 1/2 - 2 pounds)
2 cups water, plus more as needed
1 cup grits (not instant)
3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup prepared salsa
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Place bacon (if using) in a large dutch oven . Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pour off the bacon fat.
3. Return the pot to medium-low heat; add oil, onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and starting to brown in spots, 2 to 8 minutes (cooking time will be quicker if you started with bacon). Add 1 cup broth and salt; bring to a boil over high heat. Add collards; stir until wilted down to about one-third the volume and bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Adjust heat during cooking to mainatin a simmer, and add water, 1/4 cup at a time, if the pan seems dry.
4. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water and the remaining 1 cup broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Pour in grits in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking often, until thick, about 5 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup cheese, salsa and egg in a small bowl. Remove the grits from the heat and quickly stir in the cheese mixture until combined.
5. Working quickly, spread about half the grits in the prepared baking dish. Top with greens, spreading evenly. Spread the remaining grits over the greens. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and the reserved bacon (if using).
6. Bake the casserole until hot and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

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