Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Grits with Eggs

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Jalapeño cheddar cheese grits are the perfect base for a flavorful savory breakfast with eggs and sourdough toast. In the south, grits are typically a breakfast food, but these cheesy spicy grits also makes a great side dish. I make these grits with fresh grated grass-fed cheddar and fermented jalapenos for the best flavor.

Jalapeño Cheese Grits

Jalapeño and cheddar cheese is my favorite flavor combination when I cook grits. I use fermented jalapenos to get the best umami flavor, and it is divine. You can get my fermented jalapeño recipe by clicking here. I always have a quart of fermented jalapeños on my counter or in my fridge. The ones I used in this recipe were fermented for 6 months at room temperature before I moved them to cold storage.

What is the difference between white and yellow grits?

Both white and yellow grits come from corn; white corn makes white grits and yellow corn makes yellow grits. The white variety is mild, takes a longer time to cook, and is a blank canvas for flavor. The yellow variety is also known as polenta, and has a slightly sweet flavor. Yellow grits also cook

Eggs and Grits

Eggs and grits are a classic breakfast combination in the south. I grew up eating grits and eggs on early country mornings, and It’s one of my favorite comfort foods. While growing up, I usually only ate fried eggs, which was the first style of egg I learned how to cook. Eggs cooked any way go great with grits, but my favorite is soft boiled eggs. Poached eggs are great too, but I think it’s easier to make a jammy, soft boiled egg. You can learn more details about how to soft boil an egg in our jammy eggs with yogurt blog post.

Grit Bowl for a Healthy Breakfast

This is such a healthy grits recipe, perfect for a balanced breakfast. Here’s all the ingredients you need:

  • Grits: White corn grits work best in this recipe, but you can use yellow grits (polenta). Yellow grits may impart a lightly sweet flavor.
  • Salt: You usually need to add quite a bit of salt to grits to get the flavor right. In this recipe we use a little bit of salt, and the rest of the salt comes from the cheese and the fermented jalapeño brine.
  • Fermented Jalapeños: This is the most important ingredient, and it makes these grits divine. I use the brine from the fermented jalapeños to cook the grits. I know some of you may not have fermented jalapeños ready for use, so you can substitute with store bought pickled jalapeño juice.
  • Cheese: I use organic grass-fed New Zealand cheddar cheese for this recipe. It is a white color, rich in flavor, and wonderfully savory. You can use whatever cheddar if your favorite, or even substitute for another type of cheese. We also used sheep’s milk feta cheese as a topping.
  • Eggs: I am very picky about my eggs. I need them to be free-range pasture raised and the yolks should be a deep orange color, or I just don’t want them. The best store bought eggs are from Vital Farms. Other than that I suggest getting eggs from the farmer’s market for the most health benefits.
  • Toppings: For toppings I used some fermented jalapeno slices, fresh chopped scallions, feta cheese, and chili butter.

Cheddar Cheese Grits

Any type of sharp flavored cheese can be used for these grits, but there’s something special about the jalapeño and cheddar combination. Cheddar cheese has a sharp, pungent and earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the heat from the jalapenos. Pepper jack cheese, goat cheese, and parmesan cheese have similar flavor profiles and would also pair well.

Grits with Goat Cheese

Goat cheese in another great cheese option for this recipe. It’s one of my favorite rich and flavorful cheeses to use in grits. Simply sub the cheddar for goat cheese in the recipe below to change it up. .

Cheesy Vegan Grits Options

To make this recipe vegan you can sub the eggs for some sort of plant-based protein. For some vegan cheesy flavor, use tahini & nutritional Yeast. This combination gives grits a nice cheese-like flavor! It’s important to add these ingredients once the grits are completely cooked. If you try to cook your grits with these cheesy ingredients, they will end up clumping together.

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Jalapeño Cheddar Cheese Grits with Eggs

Jalapeño cheddar cheese grits are the perfect base for a flavorful savory breakfast with eggs and sourdough toast. In the south, grits are typically a breakfast food, but these cheesy spicy grits also makes a great side dish. I make these grits with fresh grated grass-fed cheddar and fermented jalapenos for the best flavor.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 Servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast & Brunch
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

For the grits

  • 1 cup grits
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup fermented jalapeño brine
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated

For the soft boiled eggs

  • 3 eggs
  • Water

For the toppings

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • scallions, chopped
  • feta cheese
  • fermented Jalapeños

Instructions

For the grits

  1.  In a medium pot bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add in the salt and butter
  2. Once the water is boiling, continuously stir while slowly adding in the grits.
  3. Bring the grits back up to a boil then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover.
  4. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, taking the lid off to stir every 5 minutes.
  5. Once the grits are cooked, add in the cheese and Jalapeño brine.
  6. Cook for ten more minutes with the lid off until slightly more thick.
  7. Allow the grits to cool slightly for ten minutes, as they cool they will thicken even more.

For the soft boiled eggs

  1. In a medium pot bring enough water to submerge three eggs to a gentle but steady boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling, gently add the eggs to the water using a slotted spoon, and immediately set a timer for 7 minutes.
  3. While the eggs boil, prepare an ice water bath by mixing a lot of ice and water in a bowl.
  4. When your 7 minute timer goes off, immediately remove the eggs from the hot water and place them in the ice water.
  5. Let the eggs chill for 10 minutes.
  6. To peel the eggs, tap the egg on the counter until the shell is broken with tiny cracks all around the egg. place it back in the ice water for five minutes.
  7. Starting at the bottom of the egg, gently peel off the shell. You need to be a little more delicate with a soft boiled egg than a hard boiled egg.

For the toppings

  1. Make chili butter by heating 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan until it simmers. Add 1 teaspoon of chili flakes to a small ceramic dish, and then pour the hot butter over the chili flakes. Stir with a spoon.
  2. Chop the scallions, gather the feta cheese and Jalapeños.

To assemble the bowls

  1. Add some cheese grits to a shallow bowl.
  2. Slice a soft boiled egg in half and place it on top the grits.
  3. Sprinkle some scallions and feta over the eggs. Add jalapeño slices for extra heat.
  4. Drizzle chili butter over the grits.
  5. Enjoy with some sourdough toast.

Keywords: grits, cheese, jalapeno, cheddar

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