Greg DuPree
Catfish & Grits with Geechee Gravy from chef/owner Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta
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Catfish & Grits with Geechee Gravy

Linton Hopkins, Restaurant Eugene, Atlanta - April 2014

For 8 servings

Grits:

  • 1 cup (156g) coarse grits
  • 1 cup (235ml) heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsps. (56g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. (6g) kosher salt

Bring 5 cups water to a boil; add grits, whisking constantly; reduce heat; simmer, whisking every 5 minutes, until thick and creamy (about 45 minutes); whisk in cream, butter, and salt; cover; remove from heat (keep warm).

Geechee gravy:

  • 1/2 cup (115g) bacon, cut into sm. dice
  • 8 Tbsps. (114g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (53g) onion, cut into sm. dice
  • 1/3 cup (49g) green pepper, cut into sm. dice
  • 1/3 cup (33g) celery, cut into sm. dice
  • 2 tsps. (12g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (1g) black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 cup (117ml) Sherry
  • 4 cups (940ml) clam juice
  • 16 clams, freshly shucked
  1. Cook bacon in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until brown and crisp; place bacon on paper towels to drain; reserve.

  2. Heat butter in a saucepan set over medium-high heat; whisking constantly, gradually add flour; cook, whisking constantly, 10 minutes; add onion, green pepper, celery, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes; stir in Sherry, then stock; bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes, adding more stock or water if mixture is too thick; stir in bacon and clams; return to a simmer; cook 3 minutes; remove from heat; reserve gravy (keep warm).

Assembly:

  • 2 Tbsps. (30ml) peanut oil
  • 8 4-oz. portions catfish
  • 1 Tbsp. (14g) unsalted butter
  1. Heat oil in sauté pan set over high heat; cook fish skin-side down until golden brown; flip; reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes; add butter to pan; cook, basting fish with melted butter, 2 minutes; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  2. Heat grits, adding more cream if necessary to restore the grits’ consistency.

  3. To serve, place a spoonful of grits in the center of each plate; place fish on top of grits; spoon 2 clams and gravy around.

What to drink: Evening Land Gamay Noir Eola-Amity Hills Seven Springs Vineyard 2012