RECIPE: Make Good Word Brewing & Public House’s Cornmeal-Crusted Trout and Collards

Good Word Brewing’s Cornmeal-Crusted Trout and Collards
(Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Combined ShapeCaption
Good Word Brewing’s Cornmeal-Crusted Trout and Collards (Chris Hunt for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Though I grew up in Atlanta, I really was not exposed to Southern cooking until college. When I moved to Duluth, I was thrilled to find Good Word Brewing and Chef Brian. I’d like to try my hand at cooking one of my favorite dishes from Good Word. I’ve not had much success cooking trout, so the chef’s guidance would help me tackle their trout and collards dish. — Jeremy Sale, Duluth

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Good Word Brewing executive chef Brian Crain was happy to share this recipe, which often runs as a special, though the individual components make their way onto the menu seasonally, as well. “I’m a Southern boy raised in Georgia, and collard greens were one of the first things I remember learning how to cook. I’ve adapted the recipe, and it’s gotten pretty good over time. The rainbow trout we use is from Sunburst Trout Farms in Waynesville, North Carolina, and is an incredible product that I love to use. A well-cooked fish and some braised greens are a great combo.”

We enjoyed the combination of bacon, brown sugar, garlic and vinegar that season the collards. In our photo, the chef has garnished the dish with edible leaves of sunset geranium.

Good Word Brewing’s Cornmeal-Crusted Trout and Collards
  • 3 pounds collard greens, stems removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 smoked ham hocks (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 8-ounce rainbow trout fillets
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
  • Vegetable oil for sauteing
  • Place collard greens, ham hocks, salt and red pepper flakes in large stockpot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil until greens are very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from heat.
  • While greens are cooking, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, stirring frequently, until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp. Add shallot and garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in brown sugar and stir until sugar dissolves, about 30 seconds, then add vinegar. Keep mixture over very low heat until greens are ready.
  • Drain collards (do not discard the cooking liquid) and add them to the saucepan. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to the saucepan to just cover the greens. Raise the heat to bring the liquid to a simmer and let simmer 20 minutes. Discard ham hocks and any remaining greens cooking liquid. Keep greens hot until ready to serve.
  • Sprinkle both sides of fillets with salt and pepper. Put cornmeal in a pie plate. Put 1 fillet into cornmeal, flesh side down, pressing to make sure cornmeal adheres. Turn fillet and press cornmeal into skin side. Set coated fillet on a rack and repeat with remaining fillets. When all fillets are coated, discard remaining cornmeal.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1/4-inch oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, put 1 fillet skin-side down into skillet. Add second fillet if there is room. Reduce heat to medium and cook trout until the edges just begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn fillets and cook second side until trout is cooked through and flakes easily, about 2 more minutes. Let drain on paper towels and repeat with remaining fillets. To serve, arrange fillets on 4 plates and divide collards among them. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 907 calories (percent of calories from fat, 47), 70 grams protein, 53 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fiber, 48 grams total fat (13 grams saturated), 184 milligrams cholesterol, 841 milligrams sodium.

From the menu of ... Good Word Brewing & Public House, 3085 Main Street NW, Duluth; 678-336-9928,

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