Chef cooks up Soul Food Detroit-style

Jaime E. Love

Table of Contents

A former Metro Detroiter is bringing the flavors of his childhood to a new cookbook that features soul food recipes “Detroit-Style.” Chef, author and food blogger Scotty Scott is behind the cookbook titled “Fix Me a Plate.”

Scotty Scott talked with “Live In The D” host Tati Amare about his cooking journey and cookbook. Scotty said he started cooking when he was about 10 years old and his cookbook features many recipes that his mother passed down to him. The cookbook includes recipes for hand pies, sweet potato pie, macaroni and cheese, peach cobbler and more. Scotty also talked about his catfish and grits recipe, which he says is Detroit-style because he likes to make it with Frank’s hot sauce and smelt, which is popular in the Midwest. Watch the video above and read the recipe below to learn how to make Scotty Scott’s special catfish and grits recipe.

Yield: 6 servings

For the Catfish

2 cups (480 ml) low-fat buttermilk

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2 tbsp. (30 ml) hot sauce

6 (7–9-oz [198–255-g]) catfish fillets, rinsed and thoroughly patted dry

1 qt. (960 ml) peanut oil

1 1⁄2 cups (183 g) stone-ground fine cornmeal

1 1⁄2 cups (188 g) all-purpose flour

2 tsp. (4 g) lemon pepper seasoning

2 tsp. (5 g) garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. (3 g) paprika

1⁄4 tsp. chili powder

1⁄8 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. (10 g) kosher salt

1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the Grits

2 cups (480 ml) water

2 cups (480 ml) chicken stock

2 cups (312 g) stone-ground grits (I prefer Geechie Boy Mill or Anson Mills)

3 tbsp. (42 g) unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups (226 g) shredded white Cheddar cheese

1 tsp. salt

1 cup (240 ml) half-and-half

To make the catfish, in a large bowl, add the buttermilk and hot sauce and mix to combine. Place the catfish fillets in the buttermilk mixture and set aside for 30 minutes.

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Heat the peanut oil in a 5-quart (5-L) Dutch oven or fryer over medium heat until it reaches 350°F (180°C) on a deep-fry thermometer.

In a shallow dish, whisk the cornmeal, flour, lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Remove the catfish from the buttermilk mixture and, one at a time, press them into the cornmeal. Flip them over and repeat, making sure to completely coat the fish. Set the coated fillets on a cookie sheet and let them rest for 5 minutes. Gently add the fillets, one or two at a time, to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the fried fillets to a cooling rack or paper towel laid out over a sheet pan.

To make the grits, add the water and chicken stock to a pot and bring to a boil. Whisk in the grits and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, partially covered, until most of the water and stock has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat to melt (this may also be done in the microwave). Add the garlic to the butter and stir to combine. Add the cheese, salt and garlic butter to the grits and stir to combine. Once the cheese has melted, add the half-and-half and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the grits have thickened a bit and absorbed most of the half-and-half. Remove the grits from the heat.

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Serve the catfish atop the hot grits for your delicious Southern breakfast.


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