Cheddar Ranch Grits

As much as I love making and devouring mashed potatoes with pot roast and gravy, I love grits even more. The creamy ground corn has more texture and more flavor. At least, in my opinion. Add some cheese (and a little bit of Ranch dressing mix) and well, these cheddar Ranch grits are the perfect tasting side dish and very, very easy to make.
cheddar-ranch-gritsYou can substitute any good melting cheese you want to these cheddar Ranch grits. I like a nice sharp cheddar because I think it goes perfectly with the corn flavors and the Ranch dressing. I think Monterey jack would also work well in this dish. For some kick, go with pepperjack and add a few chopped roasted jalapenos.

Also try my roasted sweet corn grits.

Cheddar Ranch Grits

Course Side
Cuisine American
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 3 -4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup corn grits not instant or quick cook
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup or more, if you want shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Ranch dressing mix the dry stuff, not the dressing in a bottle!

Instructions

  • Bring broth and salt to a boil in a medium pan over high heat.
  • Slowly stir in the grits.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often. To prevent the grits from splattering you can place a lid over the top of the pan but do not cover it completely.
  • Add the butter and stir to melt.
  • Add the cheese and Ranch dressing mix and stir until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve.

Cheddar Pretzel Bites

The reason I made such a big batch of these cheddar pretzel bites isn’t because I needed a huge amount for a family get-together. Sure, I needed some, but not a ton. Nope, I made a big batch because I wanted more for myself. Sorry, but it’s true. I was being selfish, but for a good reason. I love them. Crunchy, a bit buttery, and definitely cheesy.
Cheddar Pretzel BitesYou don’t have to use pretzels to make these cheddar bites. If you prefer, any cracker will do, specially oyster crackers or saltines. Just don’t substitute something that is strongly flavored and might not go well with the cheddar. That would make for a bowl of sadness.

Also check out my balsamic, pizza,and spicy garlic ranch pretzel bites! They are all out of this world good too!

Cheddar Pretzel Bites

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 1 pound
Author Mike

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200 F.
  • Place pretzel bites in large bowl.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the oil and cheddar seasoning.
  • Pour the oil mixture over the pretzels and toss to coat well.
  • Pour pretzels bites out onto a large baking pan and spread out evenly.
  • Bake for 1 hour, tossing every 20 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly before serving.

Broccoli Cheddar Pockets

By golly, these broccoli cheddar pockets do taste just like the pockets you can get out of the freezer section in your grocery store! Actually, they taste even better. That might because there’s extra ooey-gooey extra sharp cheddar cheese inside. Oh, yeah, there’s some healthy broccoli thrown in too. And well, yes, I did add a bit of bacon. How could you not?
Broccoli Cheddar PocketsYou can make a big batch of these broccoli cheddar pockets then freeze them for later. Just pop them into the microwave or oven to reheat (until the cheese melts). Nice and easy!

You can easily make copycats of the other pocket flavors you find in your grocery store’s freezer. Just fill with cooked (the dryer the better!) ingredients and seal!

Broccoli Cheddar Pockets

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped frozen broccoli florets
  • 4-6 slices thick cut bacon cooked, chopped (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese about 5 ounces
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tube Pillsbury┬« Crusty French bread dough
  • 1 egg
  • Water

Instructions

  • Cook broccoli per package instructions. Drain well.
  • Place broccoli in a large bowl and gently stir in the bacon, cheddar, sour cream and chives.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  • Lightly flour a flat surface.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equally sized pieces and roll out into 6" x 8" rectangles.
  • Divide the broccoli mixture between each piece of dough, placing the ingredients in the center.
  • Fold the 2 shorter sides of the dough over the filling, stretching to cover.
  • Fold the 2 long sides over like a burrito and pinch the edges to seal.
  • Place the pockets seam-side down on the baking sheet.
  • Beat the egg and 1 tablespoon warm water in a small bowl or glass. Brush the pockets with the egg wash.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.