Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pecan-Crusted Catfish (and Homemade Fishsticks)

I really tried to get this post up sooner this week, but I've been up to my eyeballs in chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache, and chocolate sprinkles.  Once I've recovered fully...I'll post that project, but for now...I want to give you this week's meatless entree. 

I have made this many times, because it's darn easy and catfish is readily available in most grocery stores.  This would be equally good on cod, snapper, or trout. 

If your kids are not sure about this recipe, it's easy to reserve some of the fish and made some homemade fishsticks for them.

Pecan-Crusted Catfish

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 catfish fillets, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
Lemon wedges for serving, if desired

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, combine the butter, lemon peel, pecan, bread crumbs, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.  The mixture should be a loose paste...sometimes I find an extra tablespoon of butter helps it come together a little better.  ;-)

Place the catfish on a non-stick baking sheet, and press the mixture on top of each fillet, dividing it evenly amongst the four pieces. 

Bake the catfish for 15-18 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. 

Serve at once with the lemon wedges.  I usually make sauteed spinach and rice pilaf on the side.

Homemade Fishsticks

2-4 catfish fillets (it depends on how many chittlins' you're feeding ;-)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. 

Use a sharp knife to cut the fillets into "sticks."  I find it best to cut the fillets on the diagonal. 

Combine the flour and Old Bay in one shallow dish, the egg in another, and the bread crumbs in a third dish.  You're just setting up your breading station here.

Dip the fillet into the flour, and shake off the excess.  Then submerge it into the egg, and press firmly into the panko.  Lay the fishsticks out on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until fish is firm and opaque. 

Serve with tarter sauce (or in our house, a big helping of ketchup ;-).

I hope you're having a wonderful, contemplative, and peaceful Lent. 
God bless your table tonight!

There might not be any pics of this recipe.  I STILL have not recovered from the big chocolate cake we're going to the fish fry at church tonight.  But I know y'all can handle it ;-). 

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