Step into the heart of Southern cuisine with our delectable recipe that marries the rich flavors of cheesy ham, sweet corn, and hearty grits in a mouthwatering bake. This comforting dish is a celebration of tradition and innovation, creating a symphony of tastes that will transport you to the charming kitchens of the South. Let’s dive into the layers of this culinary masterpiece!
Grits, a staple in Southern cooking, have roots tracing back to Native American and Indigenous cultures. The use of corn, a sacred grain, evolved into the beloved grits we know today. Combined with the smoky richness of ham, this dish is a tribute to the region’s agricultural bounty and diverse culinary heritage.
1 cup stone-ground grits
2 cups cooked ham, diced
1 cup sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 cups milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Measuring cups and spoons
- Prepare the Grits:
- In a medium saucepan, bring milk and butter to a gentle simmer.
- Gradually whisk in the stone-ground grits, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
- Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the grits are creamy and thick.
- Flavorful Layers:
- Fold in the diced ham, sweet corn, and shredded cheddar cheese into the cooked grits.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, ensuring a well-balanced flavor profile.
- Baking Brilliance:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Transfer the cheesy grits mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, spreading it evenly.
- Cheese Crown:
- Sprinkle the top with an additional layer of sharp cheddar and grated Parmesan cheese for a golden, bubbling crust.
- Into the Oven:
- Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until the edges are golden brown, and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Serve with Style:
- Allow the bake to cool slightly before slicing into squares.
- Garnish with fresh herbs like chives or parsley for a touch of color and freshness.
Indulge in the warmth and comfort of Southern hospitality with every forkful of this Cheesy Ham, Corn, and Grits Bake. This recipe not only captures the essence of regional flavors but also invites you to create lasting memories around the dinner table. So, gather your loved ones, savor the layers of this culinary masterpiece, and embark on a journey through the heart of Southern cooking.