COUNTRY GRITS AND SAUSAGE CASEROLE
(To punch up the flavor, use one pound of mild sausage and one pound of hot sausage in this casserole. If you're really brave, use hot sausage exclusively!)
2 pounds ground pork sausage
4 cups water
1-1/4 cups quick-cooking grits, uncooked
4 cups (1 pound) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
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 and next 3 ingredients, stirring until cheese melts.
Stir in sausage and eggs.
Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish; sprinkle with paprika.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
YIELD 10 servings
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