Cast Iron Trout, Smoked Grits, Farm Egg, and Potlikker Jus

This dish is designed for a generous number of guests.

April 07, 2017


For the Grits
Place the grits a half-inch layer on a hotel pan. Place in a smoker and smoke for 45 minutes. Allow to cool. In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook until translucent and stir in the garlic. Cook for another 30 seconds and pour in the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. As the water comes to a boil, whisk in the grits, constantly stirring until they come together and begin to bubble, about 3-4 minutes. As the grits begin to bubble, remove the pot from the heat and immediately cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and keep in a warm place. Allow to steam for 45-50 minutes. After the grits have steamed, place the pot back on stove over medium heat. Stir in the heavy cream, chèvre, Frank’s Red Hot, salt, and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Taste and re-season as necessary. Serve immediately, if possible.

For the Farm Eggs
Bring an immersion circulator in a water bath to 64°C (147°F). Position the eggs in a pasta basket and place in the water bath. Allow to cook for 50 minutes.

For the Potlikker Jus
Bring the potlikker jus to a simmer and mount in the butter, incorporating a little at a time, by whisking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

For the Trout
Cut the trout filets into 2 portions each, discarding the tail end. Season the skin side of the trout with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat and as the oil begins to shimmer, place the trout into the pan (skin side down), and allow to cook until the trout skin is crispy. Gently turn the trout over and reduce the heat to medium. Allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the trout is cooked through.

To Serve
Place a small cast iron serving skillet over a folded napkin on a small square plate. Place a 3-inch ring mold into the center of the round skillet. Place a teaspoon of the grits in the center of the ring mold. Crack a poached egg into a perforated bar straining spoon and place the egg directly on the grits. Gently mound more of the grits over the poached egg. Then place a piece of trout (skin side up) on the grits. Pour approximately 2 ounces of potlikker jus around the outside of the ring mold and garnish the trout with the sliced, pickled ramps. Garnish the plate with the chopped parsley and Aleppo pepper.

About this recipe

“This dish is designed for a generous number of guests. Halve it if cooking for six, or quarter it if cooking for three. Or reserve it for that occasion when Aunt Judy and Uncle Slim drop in with a following of children and you really don’t know how you will feed all those mouths. Eggs and grits are usually always on hand (at least in an Appalachian household), and trout should not be hard to come by. At the very least you can send all the men out to the nearest sporting goods store to pick up a fishing pole and license, and profit from a few hours of peace before they return!” – Appalachian Appetite.

Recipe by William Dissen, courtesy of Appalachian Appetite by Susi Gott Séguret, published by Hatherleigh Press.

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For the Grits
  • 4 tablespoons blended olive oil
  • ½ cup red onion, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 4 cups yellow corn grits, coarse ground
  • 16 cups water
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chèvre (unaged goat cheese)
  • 4 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Farm Eggs
  • 16 farm eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Potlikker Jus
  • 3 quarts potlikker jus (the juice left at the bottom of the pan)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Trout
  • 3 tablespoons blended oil
  • 6 trout, pin bones out
  • Salt and pepper to taste
For the Garnish
  • 36 pickled ramps, cut lengthwise on the bias
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • Aleppo pepper, as needed
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