2 cup whole Milk
2 cup water
1 cup stone-ground grits
3/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Pour the milk and water into a 2 quart saucepan, cover, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the milk mixture boils (about 5 minutes), uncover the pot, add the grits and salt, and reduce the heat to medium. Stir constantly until the grits are the consistency of this soup and release a fragrant sweet-corn perfume, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, about about 20 minutes, until the grits thicken and fall lazily from the end of the spoon. Cook about 15 minutes more, stirring constantly to prevent the grits from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
When the grits are creamy and fluffy and soft, turn off the heat, add the pepper and butter, and stir to incorporate. Add cheese. Stir to incorporate (and to melt the cheese into the grits). Season to taste with salt and pepper, if desire.