Plantation Breakfast Bake

 Every year when James Taylor is in concert at Tanglewood, his greatest fans from Tennessee create a party ambiance at Birchwood Inn. One year, I wanted to make them feel at home and serve grits, but I didn’t have a clue as to how to do this properly. So James Taylor’s absolutely greatest fan Bob taught me how to make great grits. I did have a bag of Carolina Stone Ground Grits ( I bought in Charleston so I was off to a great start right there.
If you think you don’t like grits, you haven’t tried this recipe made with the stone ground grits!
 The Grits
6 cups water 
1 1/4 cups grits
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
The Rest of the Casserole
1 pound Italian turkey sausage (a mixture of sweet and hot), ground
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups grated cheese (I use parmesan but you could also use aged white cheddar)
1/4 cup finely minced parsley 

 The day before you are going to serve the Plantation Bake, add the grits, salt, and butter to the water and boil over medium heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour and a half, until the grits are thick and the water has boiled off. 
Add the butter, eggs, and cheese to the grits.
Break up the sausage into small pieces and saute. 
Saute the onions and mix with the sausage.
Add the sausage and onions to the grits.
Spoon the grits into a 9X13-inch dish and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 375F. Take the dish out of the refrigerator one hour before baking. Sprinkle the parsley and a bit of extra cheese on the top of the grits. Bake for 1 hour, until the grits are golden on top. Remove the dish from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before cutting and serving.
I’ve heard it freezes well, but we’ve never had any leftover to freeze.

Serves 10.

Birchwood Inn
Ellen Gutman Chenaux, Bed and Breakfast Foodie

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