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CARLA HALL Cheddar Grits Souffle with Tomato Gravy

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Bring the flavors of the south to your holiday table!

ingredients
CHEDDAR GRITS SOUFFLE WITH TOMATO GRAVY
2 tablespoons butter (plus additional for greasing)
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups stone-ground grits
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
6 large eggs (whites and yolks separated)
TOMATO GRAVY
2 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 small onion
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
1 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup milk
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

directions
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease a large soufflé dish with butter and dust with breadcrumbs.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the milk and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking frequently, for 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat add cheese, season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mix to combine.
Place egg yolks in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the grits mixture to the yolks while whisking continuously, then add the mixture back to the pot of grits and whisk to combine. Allow the grits to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg whites and beat until stiff-peaks form. Add 1/3 of the whites to the grits mixture and gently fold together. Add the remaining whites and gently fold into the grits, be very careful not to over mix. Place the grits into the greased soufflé dish. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve with tomato gravy immediately.
For the Tomato Gravy: in a large sauté pan, add the bacon drippings and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the onion and mix to combine. Add the tomatoes and tomato juice and mix to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in milk and season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with grits soufflé.
Tips:
– Make and bake the soufflé just before serving! Make the gravy ahead of time! Warm before serving.
– Keep your bacon drippings in a coffee can. Cover and store in the freezer. Use bacon fat to make your favorite Southern dishes.

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