Grits have been a staple of the Southern kitchen for generations. They cook quickly and make a satisfying breakfast cereal.
Bring 4 cups water and the salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally until creamy, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter, cheese, and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with extra butter, cheese, and cayenne pepper if desired.