Photo: Jennifer Causey; Prop Styling: Lindsey Lower; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer
1 Hour 15 Mins
Edouardo Jordan’s elegant take on a fish fry—nutty brown butter and Parmesan grits, a light-as-air cornmeal dredge and fry on the catfish—is exactly the sophisticated yet approachable dish you’d expect from the Seattle-based Southern transplant showing diners a different different side of Southern cooking.
1½ (about 8¼ oz.) semolina flour
4 (4- to 6-oz.) catfish fillets
1 cup whole milk
2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (10-oz.) pkg. fresh spinach
4 teaspoons lemon zest plus 4 tsp. fresh juice (from 2 lemons)
Prepare catfish: Pour peanut oil to a depth of 1½ inches in a large, deep cast-iron skillet; heat to 350°F. Place semolina in a bowl. Place fillets in a shallow dish; add milk. Remove from milk; let excess drip off. Sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons of the salt. Dredge fillets in semolina; shake off excess. Add to hot oil, and fry until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
Prepare spinach: Heat half of the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add half of the garlic; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in half of the spinach and half of the zest; cook, stirring constantly, until spinach wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in half of the juice. Transfer to a plate. Repeat procedure with remaining oil, garlic, spinach, zest, and juice.
Spoon grits into bowls. Top with catfish fillets and spinach. Garnish with pickled shallots.