The Palace Cafe began serving this when it first opened, and it’s still a specialty there. Like many early dishes at the restaurant, it’s a slightly downscale version of a successful dish at Commander’s Palace, which started this whole fish-and-pecans thing. The idea is so good that it’s spread to many restaurants and home kitchens. The flavor match with catfish is marvelous. The sauce makes it even better, but it’s good even without it.
- 8 catfish fillets, 2-5 oz. each
- 2 cups pecan pieces
- 3/4 cups bread crumbs
- 1 Tbs. Creole seasoning
- 1 cup flour
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tbs. milk
- 3 Tbs. butter
- Sauce (optional):
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Dash Tabasco
- 1 Tbs. heavy cream
- 1 Tbs. butter, softened
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
1. In a food processor or blender, combine bread crumbs and pecans until ground to the texture of coffee.
2. Trim all the fat off the catfish fillet. Wash and pat dry.
3. Combine the Creole seasoning and the flour and dredge the catfish through that mixture.
4. Beat the eggs with the milk and pass the catfish through this egg wash.
5. Dredge through the mixture of pecans and bread crumbs.
6. Heat the butter in a skillet until bubbling. Saute the catfish for about two minutes on one side, until lightly browned. Turn over and place the entire skillet into a preheated 450-degree oven for five minutes. Spoon sauce over and serve.
7. To make the sauce, combine the beef stock, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and Tabasco in a skillet. Reduce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Lower heat and add the cream. Reduce a little more, then whisk in the butter.