Thursday, December 31, 2009

It just ain't Christmas without cheese grits

The wildest wild goose chase I went on this Christmas was a Christmas Eve hunt for a roll of Kraft garlic cheese to make cheese grits, a Southern Christmas specialty if ever there was one.

First, I went to the little Foodland market at which I always purchased my holiday garlic cheese in the past. When I couldn't find it there, I should've known something was up. I then went to Publix, and they didn't have it. Right there I really should've known that something was up. Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I trekked to Food Lion and Kroger only to be skunked two more times.

Little did I know that Kraft's patented garlic cheese was taken off the market last year. "What the **** am I gonna do now?" I said aloud to no one in particular before I had a revelation: "I'll bet I can use a jar of Cheese Whiz and some garlic paste!" And that's exactly what I did.

First, here's my recipe for garlic cheese grits, which is actually my mother's recipe for garlic cheese grits (which she has recorded on a bank deposit slip from a bank my parents used about, oh, 25 years ago):

Garlic Cheese Grits

1 1/2 cups grits, uncooked (do not use instant grits)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1 roll Kraft garlic cheese
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Cook grits in salted water. When water is absorbed, add butter, garlic cheese, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce sauce. Stir until cheese is well incorporated.

Pour mixture into a greased shallow casserole dish and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 350° oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Here's what you use in place of Kraft's garlic cheese roll:

Pour 1 8-ounce jar of Kraft Cheese Whiz into a microwave-safe bowl. Warm on "defrost" for about a minute and a half. Add 1 teaspoon of Amore garlic paste and stir well. If you want more garlic flavor, add a dab of garlic paste at a time while stirring and tasting. Now be warned: a little garlic paste goes a long way, so don't overdo it. Just be sure to keep adding dabs and tasting as you mix. Enjoy!

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