Baked Cheese Grits with Okra
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- When working with stone ground grits, it’s best to rinse them to wash away any bran before cooking.
- To do this, add the grits to a bowl and rinse with cold water, carefully pouring off the water with any floating bits of bran.
- Repeat 2-3 times until the water is clean.
- Pour off all excess water, but don’t be concerned if some still remains.
- Place 6 cups of water or stock (unsalted) in a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Carefully transfer rinsed grits into the boiling water, whisking as you go.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir every few minutes to keep them from sticking.
- After approximately 20 minutes, add cream, reduce to low and cook for another 10 minutes before removing from heat.
- While grits are cooking, add butter to a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onions until browned, add okra and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes until warmed throughout.
- Add granulated garlic and fresh thyme and blend well before removing from heat.
- Blend the sour cream, cheddar cheese and one cup of the Parmesan cheese into the hot grits. Add the okra and onions to the grits and mix well. Season with black pepper and salt to taste.
- Transfer the grits to an oven-safe casserole dish or cast iron pot.
- Top with remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Kitchen note: You can make this dish ahead by following all of the steps until baking. Transfer and refrigerate before baking 45 minutes or until brown.