One day I said, "what the heck is red-eye gravy, anyway?" Then I looked it up. Fascinating, kind of weird, and after making it, strangely addictive. It occurred to me that I needed another excuse to have my new passion, so I combined my standby brunch casserole with a kicked up version of traditional red eye cream gravy. Not a bad southern dish for a girl from the east coast. My grits souffle recipe is a combination of an old Silver Palate recipe and one from an old friend from Georgia. —Edgewatercook
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly butter a 6-cup soufflé dish.
Combine 1 1/2 cups water and the milk in a heavy saucepan and warm the mixture over low heat. Add the butter and allow to melt. Slowly stir or whisk in the grits until smooth and thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Lightly beat the egg yolks in a bowl. Gradually stir some of the hot grits into the yolks to temper them. Then stir the tempered egg yolks into the grits. Set aside to cool slightly.
Stir the cheese, green chilies, Tabasco sauce, mustard, salt, and pepper into the grits
Place egg whites in a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and beat with an electric mixer until the whites are stiff but not dry.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the whites into the grits until just combined. Scrape the mixture into the soufflé dish and bake in the center of the oven until the soufflé rises and is lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes.
Chipolte Red Eye Gravy
In a heavy skillet, melt 1 T of the butter and add the chopped ham. Saute until slightly browned. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Scrape the pan and add the second T of butter. Add the flour and stir. Allow this to brown slightly. Add the brown sugar and mix well.
Add the coffee, hot sauce and the half and half and stir until smooth and creamy.
Add the chipolte chilies and the ham. Stir to combine. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and more chili or hot sauce as desired.
Final Assembly: Place a scoop of the chipolte red eye gravy on each plate. Place a serving of the Green Chili Grits Souffle on top of the gravy. Garnish with a slice of watermelon.