March 30, 2022
By Tommy Thompson
Pecans, by themselves, are wonderful to eat. Roasted, they’re even better! And used to coat firm-fleshed fish fillets, they’re sublime.
This recipe is seemingly complicated, but can be easily simplified. The crunchy pecan crust can be used to coat any skinless fish fillets, so long as they’re firm fleshed and fresh. Or you can skip the Cajun spice and change the olive oil out for your preference (though the olive oil lends a great flavor). And depending on the thickness of your fish fillets, you might even be able to skip the oven part of the process. Just don’t skip the butter sauce.
Finally, to take full advantage of the flavor of my favorite southern nut, the pecan, serve your fish with Konriko Wild Pecan brown rice, available at most large supermarkets.
And, just to keep your meal on a “pecan” theme, serve a big bowl of butter pecan ice cream for dessert!
Butter Pecan Fish Recipe
Butter Pecan Fish
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 2 ¼ cups roughly chopped roasted pecans*
- 1 ½ tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Cajun spice
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream (milk may be substituted)
- 2 6-ounce fish fillets (grouper, snapper or any firm-fleshed fish)
- ¼ cup olive oil
Butter Pecan Sauce
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 4 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Thinly sliced chives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In work bowl of food processor, combine 1/2 cup of flour, 1 cup of pecans, 1 tablespoon Tony’s spice mix, and process until just smooth but not oily; transfer to a shallow bowl.
In another shallow bowl, mix remaining flour and spice mix; in a third bowl whisk egg with one tablespoon of heavy whipping cream. Bread the fish, dipping it first in seasoned flour, then in egg wash, then in pecan mixture. In a frying pan, heat oil until shimmering, add fish and cook until golden. Carefully turn fillets and transfer to a nonstick sheet or pan, then to oven to finish cooking. Bake about 12 minutes, until firm.
While fish is baking, make sauce. In the skillet you used for frying the fish, drain all but a few tablespoons of oil and add the shallots and cook 2 minutes, scraping the bottom. Then add heavy cream and deglaze any remaining brown bits off the bottom and reduce by half. Reduce heat to very low. Whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until sauce begins to lightly emulsify. Remove from heat if butter melts too quickly. When butter is fully incorporated whisk in the remaining cup of the chopped pecans. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside and keep warm.
To serve, ladle sauce onto individual serving plates, top with fish portion and drizzle a little bit more sauce across the top and serve hot, garnishing with thinly sliced chives.
* Roasted Pecans
Preheat oven to 225F. Lightly oil a large sheet pan and loosely arrange pecan halves. Roast about one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. FS
Published Florida Sportsman Magazine March 2021