I have a bit of a problem with southern women. Southern women and their cooking.
Do you know what my problem with southern women and their cooking is?
They are really dang good at it. That’s my problem.
And it makes Yankee girls like me a wee bit nervous to try out their recipes.
Life ain’t always fair, right?
So really, all that rambling was just a big fat disclaimer that I’m sure no self respecting southern woman has ever actually eaten this breakfast skillet on a Saturday morning in low country. But, the base of this skillet is grits, instead of potatoes as commonly seen in breakfast scrambles, so I couldn’t think of anything to call it besides “southern-style.”
You see, people who grow up north of the Mason-Dixon line don’t really eat a lot of grits. I certainly didn’t growing up. My mom went to college in West Virginia, tried them once in the dining hall, and was content to never eat them again. I’m pretty certain I was in my twenties before ever trying them, and despite my northern roots, I pretty much fell in love immediately, so they’ve been making appearances on my table ever since.
This breakfast skillet is just a big ol’ wrap up of everything wonderful about a weekend morning. A heaping serving of grits topped with bacon, cheese, spinach, and a sunny side up egg. Seriously, what could be better?
[besides me waking up tomorrow and realizing I’ve magically morphed into Carrie Underwood]
- 1/4 cup of old fashioned grits**
- 1 cup water
- pinch of salt
- 2 strips crispy bacon, crumbled
- 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 egg
**I apologize to all the southern gals for not using stone ground grits, but do you even know how hard those are to find in Pennsylvania?
- 6 inch cast iron skillet**
- Oven proof lid or plate
**If you don’t have a 6 inch cast iron, it should work to layer the ingredients into any similar sized oven proof baking dish.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside of a 6 inch cast iron skillet.
In a small saucepan on the stove top, bring 1 cup of water and a big pinch of salt to a boil. Add the grits and give them a good stir. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and let them simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until creamy and cooked through.
Transfer the grits to the prepared skillet and spread them in a even layer. Top the grits with crumbled bacon, a layer of fresh spinach and a layer of shredded cheese.
You have two options when it comes to preparing your egg. If you don’t mind the whites being a little running, or the yolk being fully cooked, then crack your egg directly onto the skillet, cover it with an oven proof lid or plate, and transfer it to the oven to cook for 15 minutes [running yolk, slightly running whites] to 20 minutes [fully cooked whites and yolk]. This is usually my preferred method when I’m in a hurry or don’t want any extra mess.
For a perfectly cooked egg, I like to “pre-fry” it in a nonstick pan with a little oil. When the whites are partially set, I transfer the egg to the top of the skillet, cover it with a lid, and transfer to the oven for about 10 minutes. Check it after 7 minutes to see how close the egg is to being done.
Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy your breakfast directly from the skillet, but remember it’s hot so be careful!
Ok, so maybe Tami Taylor would serve this to her family afterall…