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Smoky Grits Breakfast Casserole

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Deciding what to have for breakfast can be a challenge during the week when time is of the essence.  Most of us are rushing off to an early morning barbell session, the office or taking kids to school and spending time in the kitchen doesn’t fit into our am parameters.

This smoky sausage grits casserole fits the bill.  Easy enough to make on a Saturday or Sunday and the whole recipe can feed the family or leave plenty of grab n’ go leftovers for you.

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds nitrite/nitrate free kiolbassa (Polish sausage), chopped*
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cup uncooked quick cooking stone ground grits
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded
1 cup raw milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
*You can also sub 1 1/2 lbs ham or chicken, equally delicious

Preparation

If desired you can assemble this up to four days ahead, and keep in the fridge; then let it stand at room temp for 30 minutes before baking.

Chop the sausage and shred the cheese.  In a large cast iron skillet brown the sausage (or other meat if using) over medium high heat stirring often for about 5 – 7 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Bring salt and 4 1/2 cups of water to boil in a large saucepan over high heat.  Whisk in the grits and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened whisking occasionally.  Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until completely melted.

Stir in milk and next 4 ingredients.  Stir in sausage.  Spoon mixture into a lightly buttered 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until golden.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I served with tutti frutti salad.