One of my favorite Southern dishes is grits. For those of you who do not live in the south, grits are to say it simply, crushed corn. Grits are small broken grains of corn that are often mashed apart by stone mills. There are hundreds of farms that grow corn and dry it out, and then grind the corn into grits and cornmeal (the finer ground corn). Grits can be prepared with milk and butter for a breakfast dish, baked with cheese for a side dish, or made creamy and cajun style with shrimp. Today I am sharing this amazing recipe for Gruyere grits.
The grits that I used in these Gruyere Cheese Grits are from Michie Tavern. Michie Tavern is an amazing historic tavern or “ordinary” that was built in 1784 where it operated for over 100 years before being painstakingly numbered, dismantled and moved 17 miles by horse and wagon. The move itself became a historic event, and Michie Tavern was designated as a Virginia historic landmark. Today it is a museum and working restaurant. You can order grits from Michie Tavern here or pick up a different brand from your local grocery store.
Gruyere Cheese Grits
- 1 quart milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter melted
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 well beaten egg
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 cup grits
- 5 ounces of Gruyere cheese
- Handful of Parmesan Cheese
- Bring milk just to a boil.
- Add in 1/4 cup melted butter.
- Stir in grits.
- Stir constantly over low heat until like oatmeal, takes about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Add well beaten egg and 1/4 cup butter.
- Stir in grated Gruyere cheese.
- Pour into well greased casserole.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan.
- Bake at 350 1 hour covered.
I thought Michie Tavern Gruyere grits would be fitting today in honor of President’s day because Michie Tavern is right next door to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home!
Thomas Jefferson is one of my favorite presidents. He was a brilliant innovator, a scholar, and influential author, but what most moves me is how he wanted to be immortalized. When he passed away there were three things that we wanted to be remembered for:
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
Author of the Statute of Virginia
Father of the University of Virginia
Missing from this list are his political offices, including governor of Virginia, secretary of state, vice president, and, of course, president. He didn’t hold political office to measure his own success, he did it as a service for his country and yet when he was in office, he was so influential. If you have a chance to visit Monticello and learn more about him, I strongly recommend it!
Here are a few more photos from Monticello: