Got to Be NC
Recipe by: Aaliyah Hasan

Meal Type: Entree

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skinless catfish fillets (approximately 1.5 lbs)
cups vegetable oil, for frying
cups yellow cornmeal
cup buttermilk
tablespoon cayenne pepper
teaspoon salt
teaspoon black pepper
cup pecans plus a few chopped pecans for garnish
tablespoon parsley (approximately 2-3 sprigs) plus chopped parsley for garnish
egg (optional) for garnish
teaspoons butter
turkey bacon strips, diced
cup pecans, chopped
a drizzle of olive oil
pounds (approximately 3 bunches) of curly kale
large onion
garlic cloves, chopped
salt to taste
teaspoon onion powder
teaspoon garlic powder
teaspoon black pepper
teaspoon paprika
dashes cayenne pepper
tablespoon lemon juice
teaspoon white vinegar
Sweet Potatoes
pounds sweet potatoes
tablespoons butter
cup brown sugar
cup maple syrup
teaspoon cinnamon
a dash of cumin
teaspoon ground cloves
teaspoon salt
cup of pecans, chopped


Step One - Catfish Instructions
  1. Pat fillets dry with paper towel. Using a sharp knife, cut each fillet into 3 inch pieces.
  2. Place fish in a large baking dish or plastic storage bag, pour in buttermilk; coat well; allow to sit for 10-minutes in refrigerator.
  3. In a food processer, combine pecans, cornmeal, parsley, salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne.
  4. Using a cast-iron, or heavy bottom skillet, pour oil into skillet and heat on medium until oil is 310 – 325ºF
  5. While oil is heating, take a fillet directly from the buttermilk and place it in the cornmeal; pat the cornmeal on the fillet; coat it all over, twice; repeat with remaining fillets.
  6. Cook each piece of fish for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and the fish’s internal temperature is 145ºF.
  7. Remove fish from the pan and place onto a plate with paper towels.
Step 2 - Kale Instructions
  1. Wash kale. Remove stems and chop into 1 inch strips.
  2. In a large pot toast pecans for 10 minutes. Set toasted pecans aside.
  3. In the same pot melt butter on medium-low heat. Turn heat down to low. Slowly sauté bacon until butter is light brown.
  4. Remove from pot and set aside.
  5. Add olive oil to the same pot. Sauté onions for 1 minute on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Add kale and seasonings. Sauté until thoroughly reduced in size, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add water, vinegar, and lemon juice. Cover pot and let simmer on medium-low for 20-25 minutes, stirring periodically.
  8. Add bacon and pecans. Toss until combined.
Step 3 - Sweet Potato Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and slice them into fries-shaped strips (1/8 inch × 1/8 inch × 2 inches).
  3. Place the sweet potatoes in a large casserole dish (11″x 15″ or 5 quart).
  4. Combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, and salt in a small saucepan. Melt on medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Pour the butter mixture over the sweet potatoes in the casserole dish, and stir to coat.
  5. Transfer the casserole dish to the preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  6. In a skillet, toast pecans for 20 minutes. Remove pecans and set the pan aside for later. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, roughly chop the pecans.
  7. Add pecans to casserole and stir to combine. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Add butter to the pan that was set aside and fry egg on medium heat. The egg should be cooked to sunny-side-up doneness.
Step 4 - Assembly
  1. Put a ladle-full of kale into a deep bowl.
  2. Place sweet potato strips and fried egg on top.
  3. Finish off the dish with fried catfish and garnish with parsley and chopped pecans.


Adapted from: and

Recipes found on this page are from Got to Be NC members, staff, industry partners and Stove Side Chats. Stove Side Chats is Got to Be NC’s cooking show hosted by restaurant marketing specialist Chad Blackwelder. This series invites chefs and home cooks from around the state to teach you how to cook with in-season North Carolina deliciousness.