Preparing flounder or other mild white fish by encrusting with nuts solves the perennial problem of imparting flavor. Mild white fish is, well, mild and rather bland unless something is added. Pecans, in particular, are incredibly complementary to mild-flavored fish. While my hubby prefers his flounder prepared with salt, pepper, lemon juice, parsley and some onion, pecan-crusted flounder is my favorite way of enjoying this fish.
If you cook the fish in a heavy skillet, even on low heat, it is very easy to burn the crust. So I brown one side in my cast-iron skillet, then transfer the skillet to a pre-heated oven to finish. The only accompaniment that is needed for this very flavorable flounder is a wedge of lemon. While fresh flounder is in abundance here in Eastern North Carolina, I see no reason why you can’t use good-quality frozen flounder if you live away from the Coast. And remember that snapper, sole, white trout and other mild white fish are also delightful with a nut crust.
|Pecan-Crusted Flounder Fillets |
Rating: 10 out of 10
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6 Tbsp. chopped raw pecans
2 Tbsp. Panko breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour + 2 Tbsp., divided
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch Diamond kosher salt + 1/4 tsp., divided
Pinch white pepper + 1/8 tsp., divided
1 lb. (skinned both sides) flounder fillets (or other mild white fish)
1/3 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Heat oven to 350F. Set out a cast-iron frying pan (or other heavy pan). Cut lemon into 4 wedges.
In mini food processor, combine pecans, Panko, 3 Tbsp. whole wheat flour, garlic powder, pinch of salt and pinch of pepper. Pulse a few times, till ingredients are finely ground and well mixed. Pour onto a sheet of wax paper.
Pat fish dry with paper towels. (Fish should weigh at least 1 lb. after skinning.) Cut into 3-4 serving pieces. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Spread 2 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour onto another sheet of wax paper. Pour milk into shallow bowl and stir in hot sauce. Dredge fish pieces in whole wheat flour, shaking off excess, then dip both sides in milk mixture, then into nut coating. Lay coated pieces on wax paper.
Heat skillet on medium heat. Add oil and butter. When oil and butter start to foam, add fish pieces. Cook about 2-3 minutes, or till underside is golden brown; turn fish over and place skillet in oven for 3-4 minutes, or till fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork. Serve hot with lemon wedges. Yield: 2-4 servings