Listen as Jamie DeMent, of Coon Rock Farms and Piedmont Restaurant in Durham, discusses her new cookbook, the history of Coon Rock Farms, and makes her Sound Palate Paring. Don’t forget to scroll down for the recipe!
“I picked Taj Mahal’s Gone Fishing (Fishin’ Blues). When you asked me to do the show it was the song that popped into my head immediately. It was one of my dad’s favorites and he would sing the line about “Ima going fishin’ and my baby’s goin’ fishin’ too” in this totally annoying sing-songy voice to me when I was a kid because he loved to fish and he loved cooking fish. There’s a recipe inspired by him in the book, its flounder and eggs, and it was one his favorite things and he loved to introduce people to it. He’s the one who instilled this total deep and abiding love for music in me so I thought it was a great pairing to honor him with a song he really enjoyed and had fun with and pair it with his favorite recipe,” DeMent tells Kitty.
Fried Flounder and Eggs
No one in my family knows exactly where this tradition comes from, but we all know that if you are frying flounder, you must fry eggs in the hot oil when you are done with the fish. All of our farm interns also know this important fact now, and they’re always excited to trade for flounder at market when new interns arrive at the farm, so the newbies can be introduced to the wonder of fried fish-’n’-eggs. My daddy has always been the true master of this dish and loves to be the one to explain how good the crunchy, salty fish bits are when they are fried into the egg. I know it sounds like an odd combination, but be brave and try it. You’ll look back years from now trying to remember when you started that crazy fish-’n’-egg tradition.
Makes 4–6 servings
- 2 pounds flounder fillets, skin on, cut in serving portions
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 large eggs, divided
- 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup fine cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Canola oil for frying
- 1 lemon, sliced for serving
Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside.
In one shallow bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and 2 of the eggs. In another shallow bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika and stir to mix everything together evenly. Have both bowls ready beside the stove top.
Pour about 1/4 inch of canola oil into a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. The oil is ready for frying when the surface looks wavy. To fry the fish, dip each fillet in the egg mixture first, then transfer it to the flour mixture and coat it on both sides. Shake off the excess flour and place the fillet carefully in the hot oil.
Continue this process until you have a single layer of fillets in the pan. You’ll have to watch the first ones you put in and turn them by the time you’re putting in the last fillets. Fry the fillets until they are light golden brown, around 2 minutes per side. When the fillets are done, remove them to a platter covered with paper towels and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Continue this process until all the fillets are done. You may need to add additional oil.
When all the fish are out of the oil resting, quickly crack the remaining eggs into the hot oil, being careful not to break the yolks. Fry the eggs in the hot oil until they are as done as you want them. Remove them from the pan and serve immediately with fish fillets and slices of fresh lemon.
About The Farmhouse Chef: Recipes & Stories from My Carolina Farm
Jamie, DeMent opens a window onto Coon Rock Farm, a diverse, 55-acre farm in the Piedmont farmland of Hillsborough, NC, that she owns with her partner, Richard Holcomb. Here, DeMent and her family raise sustainable nurtured and sought-after heirloom varieties of produce and livestock – bounty that is brought to the table for family, crew, and farm hands with DeMent’s robust and flavorful cooking.
With full-color photographs throughout, The Farmhouse Chef presents over 150 recipes for every occasion – all inspired by the farm’s yield through the four seasons. Accompanying the recipes are DeMent’s charming stories that illuminate what life is really like on a working farm.
Sample recipes featured in the book include:
- SUMMER: Squash and Vidalia Onion Pickles, Balsamic Haricots Verts with Surryano Ham, Grilled Corn on the Cob with Spicy Mayo and Fresh Lime, Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Spare Ribs, Blackberry Fool, Watermelon Mojito
- FALL: Sage- and Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash, Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes and Apples, Seared Honey Citrus Scallops, Heritage Turkey, Cane Syrup Pecan Pie, Rosemary Pear Martini
- WINTER: Roasted Buttered Brussels Sprouts, Kale Kimchi, Spicy Sausage Pantry Pizza, Cheesy Crusted Rib Eye, Lamb Meatballs with Creamy Fettuccine, Carrot Cake, Real Eggnog
- SPRING: Fava Beans with Garlic Scape Pesto, Asparagus and Potato Frittata, Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs, Hot Honey Chicken, Crispy Duck Breasts with Strawberry Sauce, Warm Rice Pudding with Cane Syrup Caramel, Grapefruit Mint Greyhound