This rich, soufflé-like dressing derives its texture from stone-ground grits.
- Unsalted butter (for dish)
- 1 cup coarse stone-ground grits
- 1 cup (about 10 ounces) chopped bacon
- 2 cups coarsely grated cheddar (about 8 ounces), divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Butter a 2-qt. baking dish. Bring 4 cups water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat to low; gently simmer, stirring often, until grits begin to thicken. Continue cooking, stirring often and adding water by 1/4 cupfuls it too thick, until tender and very thick (about 5 cups), about 1 hour. (The amount of water and cooking time will vary depending on the type of grits used.) Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5–7 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk eggs and cream in a medium bowl; whisk into grits in 3 additions. Stir in 1 3/4 cups cheese, chives, paprika, and bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer grits mixture to prepared dish and smooth top with a spoon. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over.
Transfer baking dish to a foil-lined baking sheet and cook until puffed, golden, and just set in the middle, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.