My Cajun Fried Fish & Cheese Grits recipe is a southern delicacy that is really easy to make and can be enjoyed for brunch or dinner! If you are from the south or have ever visited, you've most likely heard of fried fish and grits.
I grew up on grits and cheddar cheese grits made an appearance every weekend during our family breakfast. But grits are not only a breakfast or brunch dish --- shrimp and grits are very popular in Louisiana and are enjoyed for dinner frequently, especially in New Orleans.
Because I no longer eat shrimp, I wanted to create a recipe that allowed me to enjoy the flavors of this dish, minus the shellfish.
What type of fish should I use?
For my fish and grits, I went with southern fried (and Cajun flavored) fresh Orange Roughy fish. Other "white flaky fish" alternatives that would work well include cod, trout, bass, grouper, and red snapper. They are all great for frying.
What type of grits should I use and what is the difference?
I place grits into four main categories by their texture: stone-ground, regular, quick, and instant. Stone-ground grits are made from whole corn kernels and are not overly processed like other types of grits. This is the way grits were enjoyed back in the day. And the coarseness scale just decreases from there. Regular grits have a medium coarseness where quick and instant grits are ground fine.
The finer the grits are ground, the quicker they will cook. Stone grits take the longest to cook and instant grits are the fastest.
And because stone-grits are much coarser, they are ideal and perfect to hold up to the extra ingredients, like cheddar cheese, in this recipe.
And what about yellow versus white grits?
Yellow and white grits are made using different types of corn. Yellow grits tend to have more flavor (to me) than white grits and pack a hint of sweetness that you won't find in white grits.
For my grits, I chose Palmetto Farms Yellow Stone Ground Grits. For authentic Southern-style grits, I recommend sticking to the stone-ground variety.
How to make fried fish and grits:
First, you'll want to start with your grits since these take the longest to prepare.
Add your grits to a boiling pot of water, evaporated milk, and sea salt. The grits will cook for 20-25 minutes to reach the desired texture and creaminess.
This grits are packed with three types of cheese. Add your butter, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese then stir until smooth. Reduce the heat to simmer while you prepare your fried fish.
In cast iron pan, add olive oil and bring to medium heat.
Season your Orange Roughy (or fish of choice) with black pepper and creole seasoning on both sides and set to side.
Add eggs and wine to a small bowl and mix well. Add fish fry breading mix to a separate bowl. Dip the seasoned fish in the egg mixture then transfer to the breading mix and cover completely.
After your fish is fully dredged, add to hot cooking oil and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
Once they are golden brown, allow them to cool for a few minutes, then place them on bed of cheesy grits.
Cajun Fried Fish & Cheese Grits are truly the perfect pair and could be equally enjoyed for brunch or dinner.
Check out my other fried fish recipes:
- Beer Battered Cod with Sriracha Tartar Sauce
- Crispy “Ritz” Fried Fish Sandwich
- Crispy Fried Red Snapper Fish Sticks