PECAN-CRUSTED FISH WITH PECAN CRAB RELISH

 

1 1/2 cups flour

2 cups roughly chopped toasted pecans

1 tablespoon Creole spice

Salt and pepper

2 eggs

1 tablespoon milk

2 6-ounce fish fillets (such as lemon fish or any firm-fleshed fish)

2 tablespoons diced red pepper

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1 tablespoon chopped green onions

1 tablespoon olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage

Pecan Meuniere Sauce:

Juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced shallots

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 stick butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1/4 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons oil, for sautéing

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 teaspoon Creole spice, salt and pepper and process until just smooth but not oily; transfer to a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl mix remaining flour with 1 teaspoon spice; in a third bowl whisk egg with milk. Season fish with remaining spice. Bread fish, dipping it first in seasoned flour, then in egg wash, then in pecan mixture. Set aside on a plate.

Make relish: In a small bowl combine remaining pecans, red pepper, shallots, green onions, olive oil, lemon juice and crabmeat; season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Make sauce: In a saucepan combine lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and shallots, bring to a boil and reduce until thick and syrupy. Add cream 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 pecans. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside and keep warm.  In an ovenproof sauté pan heat oil until shimmering. Add fish and cook until golden. Carefully turn fillets and transfer skillet to oven to finish cooking. Bake about 12 minutes. To serve, ladle sauce onto 4 dinner plates, top with some of the fish and a portion of crab salad. Garnish with chives. Yield: 4 servings.