…orange-pecan brown butter sauce. (Looks good, right?)
Last May, I led a recipe development project for a global citrus company. Not only was it a great time, but I came up with several tasty—and simple—recipes, all flavored with fresh orange (blood oranges and clementines too) juice or zest. With Mardi Gras coming up in just under two weeks, I thought it would be fun to post them and a few other recipes over the next week with N’Awlins flair. Since I have this one ready to go, with a pretty photo by photographer Betsy Barron, I am starting with pecan crusted catfish — definitely doable as a weeknight dish.
Let me know what you think and feel free to leave your favorite Cajun or Creole-inspired recipe as a comment. Next up (if I can find my recipe), is Cajun meatloaf with chipotle mashed potatoes and jalapeño cornbread, so come on back.
Here’s the low down on the how-to…
Tip: I recommend 1 filet per person, but you can get away with a little less (3 for 4 people, for example) if large and serving other items. 2 catfish fillets, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 catfish fillets
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
- Dredge each fillet in flour
- Dip into beaten egg to coat
- Place in pecan mixture, pressing gently to coat both sides of fish
- Melt 2 tbsp. of butter over medium heat
- Add fillets cooking on each side till lightly brown 2 minutes each side
- Transfer to preheated oven (350 degrees) and bake an additional 8 minutes
While fish is cooking, prepare orange brown butter:
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, skin removed
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place a sauté pan over high heat, add butter, and heat until it bubbles and the milk solids start to turn golden brown.
- Add the hazelnuts; cook until they are slightly toasted, about 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat, add the orange juice and zest, and swirl the pan around until the mixture emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place catfish on a serving platter (I like to warm mine in the oven or with hot water first) and ladle a bit of the brown butter over top, also serving some on the side in a warm ramekin or tiny saucepan. (I use my measuring cups because the butter stays hot in the metal and is easy to pour out.)