Hatch Green Chile Cheese Grits
It’s a Saturday afternoon in July. Despite your best efforts for a productive weekend, you slept in and made pancakes while watching the latest Jennifer-Lopez-90’s-movies marathon on TBS. Now it’s 3 o’clock and with a cookout in 2 hours, it’s time to figure out how to contribute to feeding the 5,000 without grabbing the nearest veggie tray. Green chile cheese grits to the rescue! I know what you’re thinking. Grits? To a cookout or a potluck? To be honest, I thought the same thing. But when my boyfriend’s mom suggested the recipe and made it for this exact purpose, it WORKED. And they were YUMMY. One of my favorite things about summer is getting together outdoors for cookouts or potlucks. I always struggle with what to bring. I don’t want to bring the same old thing, but I don’t want to sacrifice my day with individual jalapeno poppers times a million. This recipe is so easy to make in a giant batch, and you could just as easily make a small one. It takes about an hour to make, but only 15 minutes of that is you working, and 45 minutes is your oven working and your house smelling like melty cheese. That sounds like a good gig to me. The thing that makes this recipe unbelievably easy is the quick-cook grits. All you have to do is cook them according to the package directions and you immediately have a mountain of food ready for mix-ins and almost ready to go in the oven. It’s really necessary to read the package directions carefully. I almost put 6 cups of grits into my 6 cups of boiling water, until I realized what was happening. I imagine the consistency would have somewhat resembled that of a football. It probably would’ve tasted similar, too. Once you make the grits, you add the true stars of this recipe. CHEESE AND GREEN CHILE. I used the Hatch chopped green chile for this recipe. Since I really wanted the bits of green chile running throughout, I pulsed it a bit in my blender to make it super finely chopped. It's not necessary, but allowed for more evenly spread chile flavor. After your green chile cheese grits bake for about 45 minutes, while you’re multi-tasking like a ninja, then you simply melt more cheese over the top until it’s all bubbly and delicious. I’ve discovered this dish truly tastes the best when served room temperature. Again, this makes it perfect for outdoor gatherings. So take your giant dish to the cookout and put it on the table—creamy on the inside with a thin crust that’s formed on the top—and watch it disappear. Then pat yourself on the back for your 15 minutes of hard work. You can thank me later for saving your summer. And, of course I snuck a bite as I took pictures. (Disclaimer: I scorched my mouth. The top is a tiny bit crusty and acts as a layer of insulation for the inside. I did NOT expect the amount of pain that happened when I put that fork in my mouth. Proceed with caution.)
Hatch Green Chile Cheese Grits
This is an easy recipe to feed a lot of people or a little. Perfect for a summer outdoor gathering or potluck.
- quick cook grits
- 1/4 c. butter
- 2 c. cheddar cheese blend, grated
- 1/2 c. [url href="http://www.hatch-green-chile.com"]Hatch Green Chile[/url], finely chopped
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 c. milk
- dash of tabasco sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook grits according to package directions for serving 6.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add butter, green chile, eggs and milk to the cooked grits.
- Fold in cheese, reserving enough to melt on top at the end.
- Add a dash of Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour into greased 9x13 pan, and bake for 45 minutes.
- Sprinkle reserved cheese over the top, and bake until melted and bubbly.
- Serve warm or room temperature.