I don’t have many fish recipes up on the blog because, honestly, I’m not a huge fan. There have been very few times that I’ve eaten fish and enjoyed it, or at least not thought, “This would be even better if it was chicken.” In fact, there’s only been one fish dish that I can remember that I’ve been crazy about– a dish I ate years ago while on a date at a New Orleans-themed restaurant in New Brunswick. I’ll give you one guess as to what it was.
Yup, you got it. Pecan Crusted Cajun Catfish.
I wouldn’t normally order catfish, but at the time I was really trying to “broaden my horizons” with food as I had just gotten into cooking. When the waiter placed the catfish in front of me, I started to get nervous. Would I actually like it? Would I be able to eat it, or would I embarrass myself in front of this guy by just picking at my meal?
I was surprised when I took my first bite and loved it. The flaky fish, sweet, spicy, and crunchy coating, and flavorful sauce were perfect together. I ate my entire meal in minutes, only stopping in between bites to make those awkward I-love-this-food moans. It wasn’t until after I had practically licked my plate clean that I remembered that I was on a date. “So… you really liked that catfish,” he said. He finished his dinner and I tried to play off the fact that I just devoured my food Cookie Monster style.
Believe it or not, I got a second date. Not that it really mattered; the only good thing that came out of that relationship was the catfish dinner.
Anyway, when I finally decided that I really needed to make something with fish for the blog, it was pretty obvious that the Pecan Crusted Cajun Catfish was the way to go. I thought about holding out until Mardi Gras, but I couldn’t wait any longer once I got it in my head. The version I made was every bit as delicious as the original, even though I decided to bake it instead of frying it. I had my mom and cousin try it and they loved it, so I’ll definitely be making it again soon. Give it a try and I’m sure your family will agree that it should be put into regular rotation!
For the Catfish:
- ¾ cup corn flake crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely ground pecans
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 egg whites
- 1 ½ lbs catfish
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a high-walled baking dish with cooking spray.
- In a large, shallow bowl, combine the corn flakes, pecans, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
- In another shallow dish, beat the egg whites. Dip the fish fillets into the egg whites and then into the pecan mixture. Coat well and set onto the baking dish.
- Bake for 18 minutes, or until the catfish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
- As the catfish is baking, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Pour the sauce over the finished catfish and serve.
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