Mardi Gras Recipe Series: Pecan crusted catfish with…

…orange-pecan brown butter sauce. (Looks good, right?)

Pecan-crusted Catfish

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…

(Serves 2)

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


  1. Dredge each fillet in flour
  2. Dip into beaten egg to coat
  3. Place in pecan mixture, pressing gently to coat both sides of fish
  4. Melt 2 tbsp. of butter over medium heat
  5. Add fillets cooking on each side till lightly brown 2 minutes each side
  6. 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


  1. Place a sauté pan over high heat, add butter, and heat until it bubbles and the milk solids start to turn golden brown.
  2. Add the hazelnuts; cook until they are slightly toasted, about 30 seconds.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)



2 thoughts on “Mardi Gras Recipe Series: Pecan crusted catfish with…

  1. Pingback: Mardi Gras Food: 18 Great Recipes | It's a Keeper

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