Grit Crusted Catfish with Marmalade Slaw

Photo by Beth Kirby

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4 servings

    Marmalade Cole Slaw For Slaw Dressing
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 heaping tablespoons orange marmalade
  • Pinch celery salt (optional)
  • Pinch fine black pepper
  • Slaw
  • 4 cups finely sliced cabbage (about ¼ a large head)
  • ¼ cup small dice cooked bacon
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeño (optional)
  • Grit Crust
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits (Chef Moser uses Falls Mill in Belvidere, Tennessee)
  • 3 cups yellow cornmeal (Chef Moser uses Falls Mill)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ cup ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup chili powder
  • ⅛ cup Italian seasoning
  • ⅛ cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • Note: Makes double what you’ll need for catfish recipe (stores in freezer)
  • Catfish
  • 2 cups whole buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 4 6-8 ounce fillets fresh catfish, patted dry
  • 3 cups grit crust (recipe above)
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • Italian parsley for garnish


  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk thoroughly.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and toss gently.
    Yield: 5 cups

Grit Crust

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
Yield:6 cups


  1. Combine the buttermilk, salt, and pepper in a bowl large enough to fit all the catfish. Stir well.
  2. Submerge the catfish in the buttermilk and let sit 15–20 minutes.
  3. Spread grit crust mixture in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  4. Pinching the tail end of the fillet, carefully lift one piece of catfish out of the buttermilk and shake gently to remove excess buttermilk.
  5. Lay the catfish skin side up in the pan. Using your other (dry) hand, scoop grit crust from around the sides of the pan up onto the top of the fish until completely covered with grit crust.
  6. Press gently and let sit for 15–20 seconds.
  7. Carefully lift the fillet out of the grit crust and shake gently to remove excess crust.
  8. Place on a baking sheet, preferably with a rack.
  9. Repeat with the remaining catfish fillets. Store, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  10. Heat the oil to 350 degrees in a 10-inch cast iron skillet.
  11. Carefully lower one fillet into the hot oil, skin side up.
  12. Cook for 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, carefully flip the fish and cook an additional 1–2 minutes, until flesh is flaky.
  13. Repeat with the remaining fillets. Drain on paper towels.
  14. To serve, place catfish on plate, topped with marmalade cole slaw to one side. Garnish with Italian parsley.
  • from Chef Keri Moser of IvyWild, Sewanee, Tennessee

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