- Unsalted butter, for dish
- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- 1 cup (about 10 oz.) chopped bacon
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups coarsely grated cheddar, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
- Butter a 2 quart baking dish. Bring 4 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. reduce heat to low; gently simmer, stirring often, until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, until tender and very thick (about 5 cups), about 1 hour. (The amount of water and cooking time will vary depending on the type of grits used.) Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs and cream in a medium bowl; whisk into grits in 3 additions. Stir in 1 3/4 cups cheese, chives, paprika, and bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer grits mixture to prepared dish and smooth top with a spoon. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over.
- Transfer baking dish to a foil-lined baking sheet and cook until puffed, golden and just set in the middle, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.