If there is one meal I could eat all day every day, it's breakfast. I love everything about it. Well, I should clarify: savory breakfast. I don't like anything sweet first thing in the morning. The most I can handle is my coffee, which is hardly sweet at all. Anyway, whenever we have occasions to provide breakfast for gatherings, I usually volunteer to make something savory. This casserole is perfect for just such a need. It can be made ahead of time and baked before serving, and (especially if you keep cooked sausage in your freezer) it comes together in a snap! You can certainly cook the grits in only water, but in my experience every little layer of flavor helps when you're cooking.
This is also a fairly simple recipe that can be customized. Diced green and red peppers, chopped spinach, mushrooms - there are plenty of ways to add variety.
Sausage and Grits Casserole
1 cups grits
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound ground breakfast sausage
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
In a large saucepan, bring the milk, stock, butter and seasonings to a boil, whisk in grits and turn heat down to low. Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the grits are thick. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, cook breakfast sausage in a skillet until browned through, breaking it up as it cooks. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper. Temper the eggs by whisking in about 1/4 cup of the grits, then pour the mixture into the grits and stir well. Add in the sausage, green onions and 1-1/2 cups of cheese. Pour that mixture into a greased 9 x 13 dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Store in the refrigerator until ready to bake, or bake immediately at 350° for 30-40 minutes.