Southern grits are a staple south of the Mason Dixon line and they're delicious. Garlic cheese grits are even better. This corn grits recipe takes a little longer than plain corn grits, to allow the additional liquids to absorb. Garnish with additional cheese and hot sauce.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the head of garlic crosswise at the pointy end, trimming about 1/4-1/2 inch so that the interior of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle olive oil over the garlic and wrap it in aluminum foil. Bake for 40-50 minutes until soft. Let cool.
Rinse the grits with cool water, stirring to separate any loose chaff and hulls. Hold you hand on the edge of the bowl to drain the water and loose particles, but hold the grits in the bowl.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring chicken broth and thyme to a boil. Whisk in the grits and once the liquid returns to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and stir frequently 30-35 minutes, until thick and creamy. (Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as the grits cook, so they don't stick.
While the grits cook, peel apart the garlic. Holding a clove of garlic from the bottom, squeeze out the roasted garlic onto a cutting board. Repeat for each clove. Chop the cloves roughly, then use the side of the knife to smear the garlic into a paste. Add the paste to the grits and whisk in until thoroughly combined.
Add half and half, fontina, cheddar, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Stir until cheese is melted. At this point, you can hold the grits covered in a pot until you're ready to eat them (they will continue to thicken as they cool). Rewarm them to serve.
If you have leftovers, save them, they will reheat beautifully in the microwave with a pat of butter.