January 14, 2010

Garlic, Grits and Greens Squares with Smoked Ham

I've got a new recipe for you to try!  This one is soooo awesome and the left overs (if there are any)  are delicious reheated! This is great for a brunch, a light supper meal or an appetizer for the upcoming Super Bowl!!  Anyhow, it is yummy!!

3 tablespoons unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 (14 ounce) can turnip greens or collard greens
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces chopped smoked ham
4 minced garlic cloves
3 cups milk
1/ 2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/ 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
1/ 2 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 eggs
1/ 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Generously butter a 2 quart baking pan and sprinkle the bottom and sides with the bread crumbs. Drain juice from canned greens. Set aside. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the ham over medium high heat, stirring often until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and greens and cook, stirring often, cook for about 2 minutes more. Set aside. In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, bring the milk, salt and pepper to a boil. Stirring almost constantly, add the grits and reduce the heat to medium low for about 3 to 4 minutes or until grits are very thick. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cheeses, cooked ham and vegetables.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in about 1 cup of the grits to warm the eggs. Blend the egg mixture back into the grits in the saucepan. Spoon the grits mixture into the prepared baking pan. Set the pan in a larger pan half filled with hot water. Bake until firm, puffed and golden, approximately 45 to 55 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the water bath and let stand for at least minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

**Leftovers: The squares become quite firm as they cool and are good served with chopped, fresh tomatos dressed with balsamic vinegar and oil.

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