If there’s any mandatory dish for Southern breakfast buffets, it’s cheese grits, but there’s no definitive recipe, just endless variations of cheese and cooked grits baked in whatever oven-proof container someone might deign to call a casserole. This recipe comes from Arkansas, where they know about grits, and is from the châtelaine of an old plantation house, which in my world gives it some distinction. Note please that it is made with grits, not quick grits, but the latter will do in a pinch. It also features dry cheeses instead of gooey cheddars and runny Velveetas.
Bring 1 quart milk to a boil. Add a half cup butter and a cup of grits. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is the consistency of oatmeal, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper, and beat the mixture well with an eggbeater (a hand mixer works just fine). Add 3 tablespoons butter, stir in a half cup grated Gruyère, and pour into a greased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan, and bake at 350 for an hour. This dish can be made the day before, serves 10, very good with game.