Shrimp and Grits with Mustard Seed Chowchow


At Bellegarde Bakery in New Orleans, baker Graison Gill is part of a generation of renegade bakers who are eschewing industrially ground white flour in favor of grinding their own flours from crops like red Ruby Lee wheat and heirloom corn. “White flour is a corpse,” says Gill. “It’s a dead, shelf-stable product. Freshly stone-milled flour is a living ingredient, full of flavor, texture, aroma, nutrition, and nuance.” Buy Bellegarde Bakery’s stone-ground grits online at New Orleans–based chef Isaac Toups loves Bellegarde grits for their creamy texture and buttered popcorn flavor. Chowchow can be made up to a week in advance and is delicious with grilled meats or other rich dishes.

Shrimp and Grits With Mustard Seed Chowchow
Photo: Victor Protasio
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 pound peeled and deveined tail-on raw large shrimp

  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), divided

  • 1 cup uncooked freshly ground grits (such as Bellegarde Heirloom Grits)

  • 3 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 medium-size (8-ounce) green tomato, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup diagonally sliced scallion


  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Toss together shrimp and Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl. Cover; refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. 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.

  3. Meanwhile, 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.

  4. 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.

Suggested Pairing

Unoaked Oregon Chardonnay

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