Symbolic of rebirth and resurrection, the egg plays a significant role in Christian theology, particularly during Easter, but eggs have other less important religious connotations at other times of the year. Take for instance deviled eggs, which are boiled and stuffed with their yolks mixed with hot seasonings, then you have eggs in hell and eggs in purgatory, both basically picante variations on huevos rancheros, and though those with a passing familiarity with Dante might assume eggs in purgatory to be less pungent than the ones in an inferno, both recipes are hot; so much for penitence.
Then we have eggs in heaven, the inspiration of Carla Hall, who grew up in Nashville, graduated from Howard and spent several years on the fashion runways of Paris, Milan and London before becoming a star on “Top Chef” and co-host of “The Chew”. Carla, bless her soul, provides us with eggs in heaven, which is one of those recipes you read and think, “Now that just makes too much sense”, a wonderful combination of grits and eggs, which we’ve been serving together in the South for dozens of decades, but never like this. I for one am grateful that Carla has redeemed the egg from toil and damnation, consigning it to a more appropriate plane.
For six servings, cook one cup grits in one and a half cups water and one cup whole milk with a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of butter. Once done, add a half cup of shredded cheese (Carla recommends cheddar, but I like Edam or Gouda). Pour into an oiled casserole or skillet to cool until just warm. Make six depressions in grits about two inches apart with the back of an oiled spoon and break an egg into each hole. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and bake at 350 uncovered until eggs are how you like them (about fifteen minutes for hard-cooked). This is a wonderful breakfast buffet dish that Carla recommends serving with grilled ham.