Eating Greeneville

Farming, bartering and foraging for meals in East Tennessee.

Spicy Catfish Burgers and Row Cover.


Pretending to be a real southern woman,  Catfish and Greens are served.

Pretending to be a real southern woman, Catfish and Greens are served.

I may talk like a Yankee, but I’d like to believe I can cook up a good Southern meal.  Everyone knows I really moved to the south to indulge in my love of fried chicken, catfish, sweet potatoes and hush puppies.

It’s not often I do seafood so far away from the coast, but local catfish is a real catch (pun intended) around these parts.  Faced with 2 decent sized catfish fillets last night I decided instead of battering and frying them I could utilize some of the vegetables in the house; especially the fennel which will soon be gone and the never ending jalapenos that the FOUR plants in my tiny home garden produced.

Catfish Burgers

(makes 4 burgers)

2 catfish fillets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small fennel bulb, small dice

1 small onion, small dice

1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 tsp. minced fresh thyme

zest of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 egg


flour, for dredging

grape seed oil, for frying

Using a sharp chef’s knife, mince up the catfish fillets to about 1/2 inch size pieces, place in a medium sized mixing bowl.  In a small skillet, heat olive oil.  Add diced fennel and onion to the pan, saute until lightly browned.  Combine fennel, onion, jalapeno, panko, lemon zest, thyme, egg and salt with catfish and mix well.  Divide the mixture into 4 parts and form into burger patties.

In a medium sized cast iron skillet, heat enough grape seed oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.   One by one, dredge the burgers in a little flour on each side and place into hot oil.  Turn when thoroughly browned to brown the other side.  Serve hot.  Tartar sauce is nice to dip into.  I went with Duke’s Mayonnaise and hot sauce and found that quite delightful as well.

Tusculum students helping winterize the farm.

Tusculum students helping winterize the farm.

In farming related news, we have had a few frosty mornings over the last week.  All the fall and winter crops are doing well so far.  I had a group of 5 students out from Tusculum who helped me to plant the garlic and to cover up the overwintering leeks and baby beets.  My first winter with crops in the ground in Tennessee should be interesting.  And while I am sure that the lettuces, tat soi, collards, kale, chard and herbs that I have planted in the high tunnel will survive the coldest of nights, I am uncertain about how long I will continue to be able to harvest the sweet delicious broccoli I was finally able to grow.

In final exciting news, Rural Resources vegetables can be purchased at the brand spanking new Boone Street Market in Jonesborough, TN.  Check them out Monday – Friday from 10am – 7pm and Saturdays from 10am – 5pm.   I dropped off tatsoi, kale, broccoli leaves, fennel, green onions, turnips and celery just today!

2 thoughts on “Spicy Catfish Burgers and Row Cover.

  1. I am curious to know more about these heavy producing jalapenos you have mentioned. Just from 4 pots? Do you have the full latin name or cultivar? Also, wondering about loofah seeds, if you might have a few extra. I grew them at school and am looking to do them again but sources for me here are scarce. – Jimmy

    • Hey Jimmy, Don’t know what the jalapenos were unfortunately. I usually start my own from seed but didn’t and ended up just getting these 4 plants for my yard from a garden store in town. But any jalapeno I have ever grown has been a crazy producer! I have loofah seeds, lots of them. I can send ya some! You can send me your address at Let’s see if seeds can make an international trip!

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