Grits and Sausage Bake

Grits and Sausage Bake

1 package (16 ounces) breakfast sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled
3 cups water
3/4 cup quick grits
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2/3 cup (5 fluid-ounce can) evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 8-inch-square baking dish.

BRING water to a boil in medium saucepan; slowly stir in grits. Cover; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese, evaporated milk, garlic powder and hot pepper sauce; stir until cheese is melted. Add sausage and eggs; stir well. Pour into prepared baking dish.

BAKE for 1 hour. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Season with ground black pepper.

NOTE: Batter can be made the day before; cover and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.