When a band takes it upon themselves to feed fans before their concerts, you can assume they’re pretty serious about food. Zac and the boys even travel with their own chef and a mobile kitchen nicknamed Cookie. “At our Eat and Greets, we sit down and share a meal with about 150 people, and get to actually visit with them,” says Zac. “It’s not about autographs, it’s about really being one-on-one and connecting with your fans.”
See More: Country Music’s Greatest Recipes
Crab-Stuffed Catfish Fillets with Cajun Rémoulade
Chef Rusty Hamlin feeds the Zac Brown Band members and their fans at big, casual “Eat and Greet” suppers when the band is touring. Here’s one of Rusty’s favorite dishes, which he serves with Cajun Rémoulade and grits.
1/2 cup butter
3 celery ribs, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 pound fresh lump crabmeat, drained
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
6 (7-oz.) fresh catfish fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
Vegetable cooking spray
Freshly ground black pepper
Cajun Rémoulade (recipe below)
Cooking Video: Kicked-Up Cajun Rémoulade
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add celery and next 3 ingredients, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in lemon juice and next 2 ingredients, and cook 1 minute. Gently stir in crabmeat, breadcrumbs, and, if desired, additional Cajun seasoning and hot sauce. Remove from heat; cool completely (about 15 minutes).
2. Preheat oven to 425°. Butterfly catfish fillets by making a lengthwise cut in 1 side, carefully cutting to but not through the opposite side; unfold fillets.
3. Spoon crab mixture down center of 1 side of each butterflied fillet; fold opposite side over filling. Brush fillets with olive oil; sprinkle with paprika and desired amount of salt and pepper. Place fillets on a wire rack coated with cooking spray in a jelly-roll pan.
4. Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Serve with Cajun Rémoulade.
Get the Book: Country Music’s Greatest Eats
Use any leftovers of this piquant condiment as the secret sauce to your favorite fried fish or burger, or as a dressing for hearty salads and slaws.
1/2 cup dill pickle relish, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 dashes of hot sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Process first 13 ingredients and salt and pepper to taste in a food processor 30 to 40 seconds or until finely chopped. Serve immediately or chilled. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days.