Highlands Baked Grits

READY IN: 2hrs 35mins
SERVES: 8-10




  • In a large heavy saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil.
  • Stirring with a wooden spoon, add the grits in a slow, steady stream and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter, Parmigiano, and white pepper, stirring until combined.
  • Add the egg and stir to incorporate.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°; butter eight to ten 4-6 ounce ramekins.
  • Divide the grits among the buttered ramekins, place in a baking pan, and add enough hot water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for about 20 minutes longer, or until the tops are crusty and beginning to brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, combine the wine, vinegar, shallots, bay leaf, chile pepper, and ham and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until only 1 tablespoon of liquid remains.
  • Decrease heat to low and stir in the cream.
  • Whisk in the butter bit by bit, adding each new piece as the previous one is incorporated.
  • Strain the sauce into a saucepan.
  • Add the Parmigiano and season with salt and pepper, lemon juice, and hot sauce to taste; keep warm.
  • Heat the oil in a small saute pan over med-high heat.
  • Add the julienned ham, mushrooms, and shallot and cook until the mushrooms are barely tender, 3-4 minutes.
  • Unmold grits onto serving plates and turn browned side up.
  • Ladle a little sauce around the grits and top with the mushrooms and ham.
  • Garnish with thyme leaves.
  • Note: the grits may be baked up to 1 hour ahead and set aside at room temperature.
  • Reheat on a baking sheet in a 400° oven until warmed through.