Collards Cornmeal Trout

Crispy Trout Tacos With Collards Slaw

Words and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms

Collars and cornbread are staples in our house, and so are tacos. These two tried-and-true standbys are delicious and versatile, but sometimes they can still feel a bit tired. Enter my recent revelation: bring these two yummy dishes together in one magical recipe. Voila! Trout tacos with collard slaw was born. Turns out, it was a great idea and a great use of local ingredients in a slightly different, perhaps unexpected way! 

You can choose to skin the trout, as I did in this recipe, or leave the skin on. It really comes down to personal preference, and plenty of folks keep the skin on when frying as it lends an extra crispy layer that is also chock full of omega-3 fatty acids.  

My technique for seamless skin removal: make a good slice between the meat and skin towards the top of the filet, paying careful consideration to the edges to get the maximum amount possible. Slowly separate the meat from the skin as you pull off the skin. 

You also have some options on how you cook the fish — you can pan fry, oven bake or use that air fryer! Pictured and written here are the air fryer instructions, but the process is the same in the oven. Just double the cooking time if you choose the latter method. For pan frying, be sure to generously coat your pan with a healthy frying oil, such as avocado oil, and fry the fish for about four minutes on each side. Regardless of the method you choose, lightly salt the fish once it is cooked, and set aside to serve. 


  • 4 trout filets, bellies removed, skin removed, cut into 4 pieces each
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon Aria’s Taco Seasoning (available on CAFE from Callywood Farms)
  • 1 bag of baby collards
  • 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive or avocado oil
  • For serving: tortillas, goat cheese, salsa, guacamole, hot sauce


  1. Working with the collards, remove each leaf stalk from the center by cutting it out with a knife. Place de-stemmed leaves in a neatly stacked pile. Once you have 5-6 leaves stacked up, tightly roll the leaves into a roll. Slice the roll into thin ribbons to create the “slaw”.
  2. Put all your collard ribbons into a medium bowl. Season the collards with vinegar, 1 teaspoon oil, and salt and pepper. Massage the collard slaw with your hands to work the firm leaves a bit and massage the vinegar and salt. Set aside to allow the flavors to marinate while you work on the fish. 
  3. Heat the oven or an air fryer to 400 degrees. 
  4. On a plate, combine the cornmeal and taco seasoning. Mix well with a fork. 
  5. Dredge fish pieces into cornmeal coating every crevice well. Set aside on a sheet pan (with parchment or silpat mat if baking). 
  6. For an air fryer, set it to 400 degrees. Working in batches, lightly spray the air fryer with oil (I get an awesome coconut oil spray from Aldi) and set fish into the fryer with space between each piece. Spray the tops of the fish with additional oil. Cook at 400 for about 10-12 minutes. At about 8 minutes, I open to check and spray with a bit more oil if things are looking dry. My batches were both done in 10 minutes and I checked for doneness with a fork to see if the fish easily flaked. 
  7. While the fish cooks, check your slaw and adjust salt and vinegar to your preference. I added a dash more vinegar after it had sat for a while. 
  8. To serve, heat tortillas over a flame or in the microwave for 30 seconds. Top with fish, slaw and your toppings of choice. We went with guacamole, goat cheese and hot sauce! 
Baked Food Beef Buttermilk Corn Cornmeal Garlic Milk Onions Peppers Recipes

Beef Tamale Pie Recipe

Words and photos by Amanda Callahan of Callywood Farms

Tamales are a flavor-packed staple in many Mexican kitchens (and other countries, too), but the process of preparation is fairly time-intensive. It requires preparing a filling such as meat, vegetables or a combination, and a wrapper, usually corn husks soaked in water to make them pliable, or banana leaves. Once filled, the bundles are steamed and finished with sauces and accoutrements. When you don’t have time to make them from scratch, this fantastic dish will give you the flavors and textures in a format more accessible to weeknight dinner. 

It features Mexican-spiced meat with a cornbread-like topping. As with the original inspiration, feel free to modify the protein in this recipe: pork, chicken and green chiles, mushrooms, black beans and corn, etc. all make stellar variations. You’ll have to adjust cooking times, but the possibilities are truly limitless.

Recipe note: The day before or morning that you want to serve this for dinner, start on the beef. You can either pressure cook or slow cook the roast. I actually used my pressure cooker to slow cook the beef. The reason I did this was to brown the meat in the pot first and not lose the flavor from the bottom. In addition to that, I can use my pressure cooker pot to reduce the sauce after cooking using the “sauté” function. 

Beef Tamale Pie

For the beef

  • 4 lb chuck roast
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, coriander
  • Oil 
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 10 guajillo chiles (dried poblano peppers), seeds and inside ribs removed, torn into pieces. You can find these in the Hispanic section of most markets, online or visit a Mexican grocery store.
    Substitutions: Ancho Chile, Pasilla Negro Chile, Cascabel Chile 
  • Cooking liquid (beer/wine, stock, water)

For the tamale pie

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup freeze dried corn
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 2 limes, zested
  • 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled


  1. Refer to the recipe note above, and decide how you will cook your beef. Cut it into pieces, if needed, to sear. Season all sides with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and coriander. In a hot pan or pressure cooker, coat the bottom in oil and sear until each side is deep brown and forms a crust. Use more oil and sear more pieces, if needed. 
  2. Add onions and garlic to the hot pan, and sauté for just a few minutes. Add chiles. Pour a cup of the cooking liquid into the pan (beer/wine is your choice here, if using, or use preferred stock or water), and use a study spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom. Place the beef back in and spoon the onion/pepper mixture on top. Cover the beef with additional water/stock. Slow cook on low for 8 hours, or pressure cook for 60 minutes and let it naturally release. Shred the beef while still warm and allow to cool in the cooking liquid. If cooking the beef the day before, place it in the fridge (preparing a day in advance will get you the most flavorful meat). 
  3. About 60 minutes before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  4. Remove beef from cooking liquid (you may have to warm it up a bit if it was in the fridge). Place the beef in a 13×9 baking dish. Place the cooking liquid over a boil and reduce it by ⅓-½ to concentrate the flavors. Puree the liquid using a blender or processor. You only need 1 cup for the rest of the recipe, but the extra sauce can go in the freezer as future enchilada or tamale sauce. I had about 4 cups of reduced cooking liquid. 
  5. Start the tamale pie. Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium and add some oil. Once the oil is warm, add and sauté the onion, peppers, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5-8 minutes until the onions are translucent and peppers are soft. 
  6. Empty the cooked vegetables over the beef. Add the corn and one cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Stir everything together and taste for seasoning. Mine needed additional salt and pepper. 
  7. Mix the cornbread topping: in a large bowl whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a large measuring cup or another bowl combine the eggs and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir. Add the zest and pour in the melted butter, continuing to whisk while doing so. Whisk until everything is uniformly combined. 
  8. Pour the cornbread over the beef mixture, and spread evenly with a spatula to each edge. 
  9. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes, or until the cornbread is lightly browned on top. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings if desired such as chopped cilantro, onions, sour cream shredded cheese, etc.