1 1/2 pounds smoked sausage, chopped1/2 teaspoon table salt1 1/2 cups uncooked quick-cooking grits2 (8-oz.) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded1 cup milk1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme1/4 teaspoon garlic powder1/4 teaspoon black pepper4 large eggs, lightly beatenVegetable cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 7 to 9 minutes or until cooked; drain on paper towels.
2. Bring salt and 4 1/2 cups water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Whisk in grits, and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until completely melted. Stir in milk and next 4 ingredients. Stir in sausage. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased (with cooking spray) 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
3. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 12 servings