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Cheesy Baked Grits
Grits are a versatile comfort food and have been a huge part of Southern culinary culture for over 400 years. This recipe works well as a side-dish or even as a breakfast treat. Be sure to stir the cooking grits continuously.

6 cups water
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups yellow grits* (not quick or instant; 12 oz)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 lb Cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk

In a four quart pot, bring water and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, until very thick, about 30 minutes. (Use a long-handled spoon to avoid bubbling and popping hot grits.) Add butter, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, pepper, garlic, and cheese, stirring until butter and cheese are melted. Lightly beat eggs and milk in a small bowl, then stir into grits until combined. Pour into an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish (2 inches deep) and bake in the middle of the oven until set and lightly browned, about 1 hour. Serve immediately.

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