Fish and Grits
Lesson time 24:11 min
Mashama describes how her grandmother would fry fish that her grandfather caught. She explains the difference between white and yellow grits and prepares the white variety with her Creole sauce. She also shows you how fish is readied for frying.
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Topics include: Grits · Creole Sauce · Fish · Plating
Teaches Southern Cooking
James Beard Award–winning chef Mashama Bailey teaches you techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes—from grits to gumbo.Sign Up
[MUSIC PLAYING] CHEF: We're gonna make fish and grits. Not exactly like my grandmother Geneva's, but definitely inspired by her. Every Friday night, she would prepare the fish that my grandfather would catch the morning of. She always served it with white grits and baked beans. And she always served it fried. And we would have like a little bit of mustard on a plate. And that was just one of the best dishes ever, one of my favorite memories of her. And this dish is really an homage to her. It's a little bit different. It's a little bit more complicated. But I think she would like it. So I want to share it with you. [MUSIC PLAYING] At the restaurant, we don't cook grits with just water. We cook grits with water and cream. And that's just to add a little bit of a creamy texture to it, a creamy note to it, and instead of adding butter. Growing up, we always ate grits with just water, a little bit of salt in that water, and butter. So we're getting a little fancy here. But that's okay. So we have some water that's hot. I'm just gonna pour this cream in so we can get everything warm before I start on my grits. You should put grits into boiling water. You don't start grits with cold water. So we'll get that nice and hot. And also in the meantime, I'm gonna heat up my butter from my roux. So right here, we have the same grits in two different stages. So these are stone ground white grits. They're dry. And they're pretty popular. They're pretty easy to find. These are not quick grits that have been sort of cooked already. These are just the maize, the hominy, which is ground, and this is the result of that. We like to soak our grits overnight, because grits absorb a lot of water. So if you soak them overnight, you really kind of cut down your process a little bit. And you can see that this is the same amount of grits. And they've almost expanded by double. White grits have a milder corn flavor. And they have a higher sugar content. We're gonna use white grits here, because I think it pairs well with the fish. Okay, here we go. I'm gonna rain in our grits. Give them a good stir. Let them come up to a boil. Give it another stir. And then, I'll cover them with the lid. [MUSIC PLAYING] In the pan in front of me, I have melted butter. And I'm going to put in equal parts flour. This is going to be the base of our sauce. Roux is usually used to thicken classic sauces with flour and butter, like a bechamel or a brown sauce. Here, we're going to use it as the base of our gravy. So we call this sauce at the restaurant Creole sauce. But I don't know if that's really a correct name for it, because it's really borne out of the idea of a shrimp etouffee. And a shrimp etouffee is a signature dish out of Louisiana. So our grits are boiling. We're going to turn these down and cover them. Really, sort of cooking the initial starch out of our flour here. And we're toasting it up, so I smel...
About the Instructor
Through her award-winning Savannah restaurant, The Grey, Chef Mashama Bailey has brought worldwide acclaim to the rich, layered traditions of African American Southern cooking. Now the James Beard Award–winning chef shows you traditional and reimagined techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes. From pork shank and collard greens to gumbo and grits, explore a world of history, texture, and taste.
Featured Masterclass Instructor
James Beard Award–winning chef Mashama Bailey teaches you techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes—from grits to gumbo.Explore the Class