Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Spice-Rubbed Fish with Fancified Cheese Grits

Lately I've been trying to use up some of the things I have lurking in my cabinets. Many times I find myself ooing and ahhing over a recipe only to end up purchasing all these new ingredients. So I've found that the best way for me to save money AND get creative is to simply work with what I have.

'What I had' a couple nights ago was some simple frozen pollock and a drawer full of various pastas. Upon routing through this drawer I discovered a bag of stone ground grits from North Carolina that I had bought at the Asheville Farmers' Market a while back. Voila! Now I had something that went together.

Here's what I did.

Spice-Rubbed Fish
Serves 4

4 small fillets white fish (such as pollock)
1 tbsp of your favorite dry rub
1 tbsp canola oil

Preheat broiler to high. Rub the spices on the fish while heating a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp canola oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add fish. If the fish is frozen, cook 5 minutes. If the fish was already thawed or never frozen, then cook for 3 minutes. Flip and place the pan on the top rack in the oven with the door cracked. Cook for 3-5 more minutes or until done.

Fancified Cheese Grits
Serves 4

3 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup dry grits
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil. Add the salt then add the grits slowly, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until thick. Stir in the butter, cheese, parsley, and black pepper.

I served this with salad to make a well-rounded meal. Altogether it was quick and easy and very flavorful!

If you're making these at the same time, this is how I did it:

Put water on to boil.
Preheat broiler.
Sprinkle dry rub over fish.
Add salt and grits to water while preheating fish pan.
Add fish to pan. Cook. Make salad. Flip. Put in oven.
Add remaining ingredients to grits once thick.
Remove both foods from the heat and place impressively on the table!

Here are the nutrition facts for the grits:

Nutrition Facts
  4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Total Fat5.6 g
     Saturated Fat3.3 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.4 g
     Monounsaturated Fat1.6 g
  Cholesterol13.7 mg
  Sodium213.1 mg
  Potassium62.4 mg
  Total Carbohydrate31.3 g
     Dietary Fiber0.6 g
     Sugars0.2 g
  Protein6.6 g

The nutrition facts for the fish will vary depending on what fish you used. With the size of pollock fillets I had, I estimated that each fillet had about 130 calories after being cooked.


  1. I was very relieved to hear that the fish was not one of the "things you have lurking in your cabinets." Remind me to buy grits next time I'm in town so I can try out this recipe! It sounds delicious.