This wonderful grits recipe is courtesy of Virginia Willis. Check out
Virginia Willis Culinary Productions. The recipe appeared in the
Columbia County Magazine, April 2007.
Virginia says, "Southerners
have a tendency to call anything baked with beaten egg whites a soufflé.
Properly beaten egg whites are the key to the rise of this dish. While the dish
is in the oven, the air trapped inside the egg whites expands, causing the dish
Learn about the
History of Grits.
Parmigiano Reggiano Grits Soufflé
Yields: 8 servings
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 60 min
2 cups water
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup coarse (stone ground) grits
1 1/2 cups freshly-grated
Parmesan Cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano)
garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the dish
scallions, thinly sliced
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a large
oval casserole or soufflé dish, set aside.
Using a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over high
heat, bring water, milk, and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Gradually stir in
the grits; reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until thick and
creamy, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Using a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, temper
by whisking in a spoonful of hot grits. Stir yolks into remaining grits. Add the
cheese, garlic, and butter. Set aside to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with
the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt on medium speed
until foamy. Increase the speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form,
approximately 2 to 3 minutes; set aside.
Add about a quarter of the beaten egg whites to
the grits mixture and stir until well mixed. Pour this mixture and the scallions
over the remaining whites and fold them together as lightly as possible. Pour
the mixture into the prepared dish. Bake until the grits are set, approximately 30 to 40
minutes. (If the surface begins to over brown, cover with foil.) Serve immediately.