Charleston, South Carolina is a very special place for me. As a tribute, I make a lot of Southern food. 🙂 I also make shrimp and grits as part of our traditional Easter celebration.
We were lucky enough to travel back to Charleston recently and we brought home a couple of different types of grits. The fresh from South Carolina grits really made this dish extra special. I also baked the grits for the first time and the results were amazing. I used a blend of stone ground white and yellow grits for this dish, but, I also have special pink “unicorn grits” from Millers All Day which I’ll be sure to share with you in another dish.
This dish is from a Food and Wine “staff-favorite” recipe, contributed by Isaac Toups of Toups South in New Orleans. It was absolutely incredible. (We need to go to his restaurant!) It may be quite difficult to try a new version next year. I served it with roasted asparagus. Lovely.
- Preheat oven to 200°F, preferably on convection.
- Toss together shrimp and Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl. Cover; refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place milk and 1/4 cup butter in a medium ovenproof saucepan. Bring to a vigorous simmer over medium, stirring occasionally.
- Gradually add grits, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and grits are evenly suspended in milk, about 6 minutes.
- Cover saucepan; transfer to preheated oven. Bake until grits are tender, 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven; stir in 2 teaspoons salt and remaining 1/4 cup butter. Cover to keep warm until ready to use. (I put the pot in a warming oven.)
- While the grits are in the oven, stir together vinegar, 3/4 cup water, sugar, and remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high.
- Stir in mustard seeds. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring occasionally, until seeds are tender, about 35 minutes.
- Add tomato and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and mixture has thickened, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Remove shrimp from refrigerator. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high until smoking.
- Add shrimp to skillet in a single layer; cook until opaque and lightly charred, about 1 minute and 30 seconds per side.
- To serve, divide grits among 4 bowls. Top evenly with shrimp and chowchow; sprinkle with sliced scallion.
Note: The chowchow can be made up to a week in advance.
Posted in Holiday, Recipes, Sauces, Seafood, Shrimp
Tags: apple cider vinegar, baked grits, brunch, cajun, Charleston, dinner, Easter, green tomato, grits, mardi gras, mustard seeds, New Orleans, shrimp, Southern, southern food
This quick recipe results in a full-flavored replica of a classic version that has simmered for hours. I served it to my family for our past two Mardi Gras feasts- followed by a mandatory King Cake, of course! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from David Guas, a New Orleans native and chef-owner of Bayou Coffee Bar and Eatery in Arlington, Virginia, via The Washington Post.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 8 ounces smoked, cooked pork sausage
- 2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 T canola oil
- 1 medium green bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 7-8 scallions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2-3 stems flat-leaf parsley, leaves minced
- about 1-2 tsp coarse salt, to taste
- 1 cup white Basmati rice cooked in 2 cups chicken stock, for serving
- hot sauce, for serving, optional
- Cut the sausage in half lengthwise, then slice into half-moons.
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the sausage and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring a few times, so some of its fat renders. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to a shallow bowl.
- Add the diced bell pepper, onion, scallions, and garlic to the rendered fat in the pot; stir to coat.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until just softened.
- Add the beans, stock, thyme, bay leaves, black and cayenne peppers.
- Reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook for 25 minutes.
- Uncover and remove the bay leaves and thyme sprig stems with a slotted spoon.
- Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash about 1 cup of the beans against the side of the pot, or until desired thickness is achieved.
- Return the sausage to the pot. When heated through, stir in the parsley.
- Serve hot, over cooked rice, with hot sauce, as desired. I have served it in individual bowls topped with a scoop of rice or in a serving dish over rice.
Posted in Holiday, Pork, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders
Tags: Basmati, dinner, green bell pepper, kidney beans, mardi gras, New Orleans, pork, pork sausage, quick, red beans, rice, sausage, scallions, sweet onions, thyme