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From the March/April 2016 Wild Cuisine section of Iowa Outdoors magazine
Atlas World Grill is a veteran of the Iowa City food and drink scene, having served the campus community for more than 15 years. But the partnership between co-owners Jack Piper and James Adrian goes back way further. The two were friends at the University of Iowa during their college days, and stayed in close contact after Adrian moved to Louisiana and Piper headed for Colorado. Their frequent talks on the phone always ended with “We should open a restaurant.”
With impressive restaurant resumes, the two Iowa natives made that dream a reality in 2000. Adrian started cooking when he was 14, and had a stint as a chef at Louisiana’s number one rated restaurant, the place that turned out Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme. With a patio on the corner of Iowa Avenue and Dubuque Street, just off-campus, Atlas is a perfect stop for a drink. House specialties abound, like the Jamaican Ten Speed, but in Iowa City, Atlas is known as the “mojito place.”
Adrian and Piper stress food and drinks prepared from scratch, and high-end service. Daily specials revolve around locally-grown seasonal ingredients, like sweet corn ice cream. Truly an eatery where you can eat both home and abroad, an entire meal, from drinks and appetizers to dessert, can easily span five cultures. And if you can’t find a salad on this menu, you won’t find it anywhere.
With Adrian’s roots in Cajun-Creole cuisine, his recipe for blackened catfish is sure to be a hit at your next fish fry. Serve it with jambalaya, featured in the January/February 2016 issue.
BLACKENED CATFISH4 catfish fillets, 7 ounces each1 cup Creole seasoning
Heat a cast iron skillet over high for 20 minutes. Cook outside on a grill or camp stove as this produces a lot of smoke. Generously coat the internal side of the fillet with Creole seasoning. Place fillets spice-side down in hot skillet. Cook five minutes, flip, and cook an additional three minutes. Remove from pan, place on cookie sheet and place in 350° F oven. Bake until done, about 15 minutes. Place each filet over one cup jambalaya (see Jan/Feb 2016 issue for recipe), drizzle with remoulade and serve with slaw.
CREOLE SEASONING¾ cup paprika3 tablespoons onion powder3 tablespoons garlic powder3 tablespoons dried leaf thyme3 tablespoons dried leaf oregano3 tablespoons white pepper3 tablespoons black pepper1 ½ tablespoons cayenne pepper¾ cup kosher salt
REMOULADE (NEW ORLEANS STYLE)One lemon (juice and zest)½ cup stone ground mustard¼ cup Dijon mustard¼ cup prepared horseradish¼ cup white vinegar¼ cup worcestershire sauce½ cup ketchup1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce½ tablespoon minced garlic½ tablespoon kosher salt½ tablespoon black pepper1 ½ tablespoons paprika1 tablespoon celery salt¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley2 green onions, chopped (both white and green part) 2 cups mayonnaise
Zest and juice lemon. Combine with other ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Remoulade is often used with seafood, especially fried fish and crab cakes, but is used in a variety of ways.
COLESLAW1 head green cabbage, thinly sliced1 red onion, julienned4 stalks celery, thinly cut on the bias3 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
Coleslaw DRESSING1 cup mayonnaise¼ cup apple cider vinegar¼ cup sugar1 teaspoon celery salt¼ teaspoon black pepper
Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Toss in remaining ingredients.
Atlas World GrillOpen daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.127 Iowa Ave., Iowa City319-341-7700 • atlasiowacity.com
For more wild recipes, check out our Outdoor and Wild Recipes and Dutch Oven Recipes boards on Pinterest.