• Baked Grits With Ham, Wild Mushrooms And Parmesan

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    • 4 3/4 c. water
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 c. corn grits see * Note
    • 3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese - (abt 3 ounce)
    • 1/2 c. grated white cheddar cheese - (packed)
    • 4 Tbsp. butter - (1/2 stick)
    • 1 lrg egg
    • 4 c. assorted fresh wild mushrooms sliced (such as chanterelle, morel, stemmed shiitake or possibly oyster)
    • 1/2 c. matchstick-size strips country ham
    • 2 Tbsp. chopped shallot
    • 1/2 c. dry white wine
    • 1/2 c. whipping cream
    • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme Salt to taste Freshly-grnd black pepper to taste


    1. * Note: Corn grits, also known as polenta, are available at Italian markets, natural foods stores and some supermarkets. If unavailable, substitute 1 c. regular yellow cornmeal, and simmer about 10 min.
    2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter 8- by 8- by 2-inch glass baking dish. Bring 4 3/4 c. water and salt to boil in heavy medium pot. Add in corn grits to boiling water in thin steady stream, stirring constantly. Reduce temperature and simmer grits till thick, stirring frequently, about 20 min.
    3. Pour cooked grits into large mixing bowl. Whisk in 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, grated cheddar cheese and 2 Tbsp. butter. Season grits to taste with pepper. Whisk in egg. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Place dish in large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with sufficient warm water to come halfway up sides of baking dish. Bake till grits are hard to touch, about 45 min.
    4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in assorted mushrooms, ham and chopped shallot and saute/fry till mushrooms are tender, about 4 min. Add in white wine and cook till almost all liquid is absorbed, about 3 min. Add in whipping cream and cook till slightly thickened, about 3 min. Stir in fresh thyme. Season mix to taste with salt and pepper.
    5. Spoon baked corn grits onto plates. Top with mushroom and ham mix. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
    6. This recipe yields 6 servings.
    7. Comments: "Recently I had dinner at Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, Alabama. To say I was dazzled by the baked grits is not overstating the case," writes Mary Lane Stiglets of Jackson, Mississippi. "This divine and truly southern recipe should be printed in your magazine for all to enjoy."

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