Thursday, August 4, 2011

I was a "TRUE" China woman but now I'm a HALF BAKED Quay Po

Two weeks ago, I told my Quay Lo, I wanted to try making grits. I remembered he made grits for me many years ago and I did not like it.  That was because I was a “TRUE” China woman back then and did not like anything "cheesy".  Over the years, I am slowly but surely transformed into a half-baked Quay Po, who now eats all kinds of cheese including blue cheese (but not Parmesan). I wanted to give this dish a second chance.  So, my Quay Lo handed me my late Mother-in-law’s grits recipe. He told me that she made grits on Thanksgiving as a side dish and their family loved it.  

Before I headed off to the kitchen to cook grits, my Quay Lo asked me if I knew what grits were.  I thought I was so smart to tell him that it is coarsely ground rice.  I was wrong, he said grits are coarsely ground corn.  "Oh I see!" said the blind man. LOL!

This recipe is superb because the flavors of each ingredient compliment each other so well.  This is a perfect one dish weekend meal because there is not much preparation, and that means less cleaning up and dishes to wash. I love it!

Roasted Garlic Cheese Grits Casserole
Largely adapted from my Mother in law’s recipe with modification

3 C chicken stock
1 small head roasted garlic, chopped
¾ C Quick Grits
2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided 1 ½ cup and ½ cup
¾ C Carnation evaporated  milk
1/3 C melted butter
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 12 drops of Tabasco sauce
1 tbs Worstershire sauce
¼ tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 2-quart baking dish and set aside.  Roast a head of garlic and chopped, set aside. Bring chicken stock to boil in a medium saucepan, slowly stir in grits. Cover pan, reduce heat to low and let it cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 6 mins.  Add 1 ½ cup cheese, evaporated milk and butter to saucepan and stir until cheese are melted.  Add eggs , Tabasco sauce, roasted chopped garlic and ground black pepper and stir well. Turn off heat and pour over cooked grits and mix well.  Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish and spring with the remaining ½ cup cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.’’

Note: I served it with bacon, eggs, cut lettuce and cherry tomatoes with toasted bread and butter on the side.


  1. We are usually not grits eaters, either, but I think we would like this recipe. Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. I grew up just south of OK in Louisiana and grits were a household staple. My mother made a casserole similar to this that I had totally forgotten about. Thanks so much for posting this. Once the weather cools off I'm definitely going to be making this!

  3. Your casserole looks so yummy! I've never had grits before.
    You take blue cheese but not parmesan? LOL, I'm the opposite. Still can't handle blue cheese yet, unless it's blue cheese dressing... with fries!

  4. Never had grits before. Would love to give it a try one of the day. But I do love bacon ! my all time fav.

  5. They look delicious! I grew up in the south but never had grits until after college. My family did not eat rice either--except for the occasional rice pudding. We ate a lot of potatoes though!!


  6. Darling, I must disagree with you, I dont think you are half-baked anything. You (and many of your followers I might add), seem to me to be the modern philosopher's of culinary arts exploring the world vis-a-vis your internet connection, your love of good food, and your innate curiosities. To be honest, I view your (and your Mum's) Cantonese food as several steps of culinary art above the simple but soul pleasing grits from my mother's Southern kitchen. That you would embrace it for my pleasure, and for it's simplicity, and fantastic merger of flavors, and then master it, and prepare it incomparably, is a testament to your exploratory nature and your love. I am truly blessed.

  7. Well- there you go!
    I didn't know what grits were either. See we all 'live and learn' Thank you for the recipe, I might have to give this a try. Maa

  8. Never eaten grits but I am game to eat it.

  9. No blue cheese for me but love parmesan :)
    Wonder how grits taste like?
    Not gritty I'm sure.

  10. I've only had plain grits with a pat of butter and I love it! I would definitely try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Your quay lo must be very happy when you said you want to make grits... ^_^

  12. Another wonderful dish to share with. Love your serving...very delicious looking.
    Hope you're enjoying your evening.

  13. Veron, I love how u started your post..... makes my day! The dish is looking good & I wanna have some too! Hahaha!

  14. can`t find the ingredients of this dish in my supermarkets here in Britain. It`s a shame as I would love to try it.

  15. I took me years to appreciates 'Western' food and now learned to like many of them especially the cheesy kind. I still can't take blue cheese but love love parmesan cheese. I like softer kind of grits (like porridge) and top it with some mushroom or shrimps. I never make grits your way before and would love to try your version out one day.

  16. This looks new to me, never tasted this before. Love your pictures, they make me very hungry now :)

  17. Grit, similar to cornmeal? Perhaps more coarse, hmmm...never taste it before, now my curiosity is peeked..:D sounds like a really hearty meal though

  18. I've never tried grits... though I'm pretty sure I am more of a "quay po" than you. ;)

  19. I adore grits. And they are just as delicious without the cheese.

  20. I'm hungry now. Everything looks very delicious....mmmm. Hope you have a great day. MaryMoh at

  21. As a Filipina, I'm still warming up to liking grits. Great post though!

  22. I've never actually tasted grits before but this dish looks so lovely, I must at least give it a try! Who doesn't love corn and cheese together?

  23. Your casserole looks so yummy! Nice click dear.

  24. Love your recipe. I had cheese grits with shrimp down in Georgia before. It was really creamy and good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I have never tried grits in casserole but it does sound delicious. Will try making that like....tomorrow!

  25. Many comments from folks who have not tried "grits" before. Jeannie, grits are less coarse than corn meal and are more to the creamy texture of a rice risotto, depending on how much liquid you use. Grits, much like rice, are somewhat taste-neutral, ready to adopt to the flavors introduced by your recipe. With less moisture grits can be used to make a batter that can be formed and fried. With more moisture, and the use of eggs, or milk/cream, grits will take on the more creamy cereal attributes. The corn that is used to make grits is called "Hominy" which is derived from the Powhatan (native American tribe) language word for maize (corn). The native American tribes throughout North and South America grew maize since prehistoric Mezoamerican time. Several varities of the plant were employed. The Cherokees (indigenous to Florida and later relocated to Oklahoma) made "grits" by soaking the kernels in a weak lye solution and beating the kernels into a "meal". The resulting mash was used in a type of traditional soup which was subsequently introduced to their earliest contacts with Europeans. The latter subsequently adopted grits to falovoring with bacon, onions, chili, and other flavoring to bolster the neutral but nutritious carbohydrate. Hominy (or corn, or maize) is a cereal grain. It's subtle flavor is similarly receptive to whatever flavor agents the cook wishes to introduce. Today's "grits" comes in a package of prepared meal that has been made in a process called "nixtamalization" in which the kernals are pre-soaked in an alkaline solution (usually lime water) and slow cooked and hulled,mashed, then dried.

  26. I adore grits, Veron and this recipe has all the ingredients of home town goodness!

    Thank you so much for sharing and thank your mom-in-law too!!!

  27. These look funny I made baked garlic cheddar grits this morning. Just put the leftovers away in the fridge. It has been awhile since I made them and it sounded good. Great minds hehe! I will definitely try your MIL recipe next time. I adapted mine from Paula Deen...of course I always have to cut back on the butter she adds :D In the south we can get any kinds of grits you can think of...stone ground, quick, instant, white, yellow etc... They even serve it for breakfast at the school I work at!

  28. new discovery today. Grits. Not heard of. appreciate the comments from quaylo on grits and also just googled grits, at least a slim idea what is that. Thanks! Quaypo, i can see a scrumptious meal you have there!

  29. Your grits looked amazing... dont mind trying this but where can I find grits in KL? :D

  30. yee haa... stunningly beautiful photos and love grits!!

  31. @Lois
    You are most welcome. We are friends right? Friends are happy to share good or bad with each other.

    Oh glad to know you are a Southerner too:D You will definitely know how to appreciate this dish then:D

    haha that's exactly the same question my just asked me. It is strange I enjoys blue cheese and can't stand parmesan.

    Once you try this you will love it.

    Another Southerner:D I am sure you will like this dish. Try it someday.

    Thanks for the explantion.

    Yes, my mum used to say if we live until 100, there are still new things to learn.

    I know you are game for satisfaction

    Guarantee not gritty!! hehe

    @Veggie Girl
    You are very welcome.

    Not only happy, he was estatic! hehe

    Thanks. Happy you think so.

    Thanks for your kind words. It is always a pleasure to read your comment.

    Really? I am surprise to hear that.

    You are most welcome. Hope you like this version.

    You must try this if you do not mind the cheese.

    on the contrary once cooked it is smoother than corn meal.

    I can see that you are definitely more Quay Po than me. I guess not many people tried grits because it is a Southern dish.

    @That Girl
    I agree.

    Have you made the grits yet? How you like it?

    Thanks again for the explanation. I am sure now my readers and friends know more about grits.

    No need to thank lah. we are friends, we share. Sorry I should have said my late mum in law but the thanks will go to my Quay Lo.

    Wow, I didn't know there are so many kinds of grits.

    Oh yes, we did! hehe

    @Food Dreams
    You can find it in Cold Storage or Village Grocers.

    Thanks and welcome to the grit fans club!

  32. Veronica! Made the grits last weekend! It came out really good. I added some crispy bacon and of course, bacon grease to it :)I love your version with evaporated milk in it instead of regular milk. It makes the grits so creamy. Thanks for the recipe!

  33. It is interesting recipe, will try it one ay. Quay Lo is a Southerner from Oklahoma, my daughter studies in Norman and we visited her every year and stayed there for almost 1 month each time. It is a very good town to invest in properties and I saw a little town to a big town and from 1-2 tasteless Chinese restaurants to good Chinese restaurant and we loved to go to OKC to eat Thai cuisine, cheap and nice. The Chinese buffet were cheap and good, we loved the Hot and sour soup . Quay Po, what is the different between Grits and cooking oat ? I afraid I can't find it on Pg !! Thanks


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