A classic preparation with the addition of a pecan crust to the pan-fried catfish. This version is served at the fabulous Palace Café in New Orleans.
- 6 catfish filets, 5 to 7 ounces each
- 3 cups roasted pecans
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1 cup seasoned flour (season with salt, black and red peppers)
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- Creole seasoning blend
- Olive oil
- Chopped parsley
Preparing the meuniere sauce: In a large sauté pan combine the lemons, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and whipping cream. Blend with a wire whisk over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes. As you stir, press gently on the lemon quarters to slowly release the juices. Slowly add the butter by pinching off a little bit at a time and squeezing it through your fingers into the sauce pan, stirring constantly (this is called mounting the butter). As you add the last of the butter, remove from heat and continue to stir. Taste, then season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine strainer. The sauce is now ready to serve; cover and keep warm.
- 3 lemons, peeled and quartered
- 7 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons Crystal hot sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (UK: single cream)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Preparing the catfish filets: Trim the fat and any rough edges off the catfish filets. Lightly season with Creole seasoning; place in refrigerator.
Grind 2-1/2 cups of the pecans and the bread crumbs together in a food processor. Place in a shallow pan or plate and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, make an egg wash by combining the 3 beaten eggs and 1/2 cup of milk. Set up a standard breading station on your table or counter top. Bread filets by first coating them with the seasoned flour, then placing each in the egg wash and then finally pressing each into the ground pecan/bread crumb mixture, making sure the entire filet is coated well. Refrigerate if you're unable to fry them immediately.
Using a large skillet or sauté pan, cover the bottom with olive oil, and heat. Gently place the fish into the hot oil. Cook until lightly brown, turn fish and repeat. If fish isn't cooked all the way through, place in a shallow baking pan in a 450°F oven for about 5 minutes.
To serve: Place one filet on the plate, drizzle with meuniere sauce, and top with the rest of the roasted pecans, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve with white rice and your favorite sautéed or steamed vegetables.
Yield: 6 servings
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)