Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pecan-Crusted Catfish with Persimmon Rice Pilaf

D. and I decided to explore the new Costco Business Center that opened in the Kearny Mesa area of San Diego. With an emphasis on food service, it's a playground of wholesale-priced cookware and food. I found a big tub of American-farmed catfish fillets at $2.18/lb, so that was our protein for the week.

While surfing for recipes, I came across a recipe for pecan-crusted catfish from Epicurious and I wanted only one thing with it... rice pilaf. More searching turned up a persimmon rice pilaf, which was the perfect way to finish off the last of my overripe persimmons. They turned out to be an excellent pairing, with the fish's nutty and buttery flavors working wonders with the rice and its sharper and spicier notes. Baking the catfish makes it fork-tender, while the breading and pecan crust keep it moist. The Worcestershire/butter sauce that's drizzled over the fish is awesome.

Pecan-Crusted Catfish
(from Bon App├ętit, April 1998, via

1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup (about) all purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 large egg
4 6- to 8-ounce catfish fillets
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For sauce:
Combine wine, fresh lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and garlic in small nonaluminum saucepan. Boil until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Add cream. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For fish:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place flour on large plate. Whisk milk and egg together in shallow bowl. Sprinkle catfish fillets with salt and pepper. Lightly coat catfish fillets in flour. Dip into milk mixture. Coat 1 side of fish with pecans. Lightly coat second side with flour.

Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 fish fillets to skillet, nut side down, and cook until nuts begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Turn fish over gently; cook 1 minute. Using metal spatula, transfer fish, nut side up, to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fish and 1/2 tablespoon oil. Bake until opaque in center, about 10 minutes. Serve catfish with sauce.

Fuyu Persimmon Rice Pilaf
(from Gourmet, December 2003, via

1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (I found the recipe's 1 tablespoon to be a little overwhelming)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup water
1/2 lb firm-ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (I subbed flat-leaf parsley, but prefer cilantro)
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Cook shallot in oil in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 2 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then add rice, ginger, and cinnamon and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Fluff rice with a fork and stir in persimmons, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

3 bites:

Jennywenny said...

Love the new costco! It was completely empty when I went there. It does really cater for restaurants and businesses though, so there are a lot of things missing, like unsalted butter only available by the case, not the 4lb that you can get in the regular costco. I did love the big metal bowls and cooking stuff for super cheap though!

Carolyn said...

I love pecan crusted catfish, and this particular recipe looks delicious!

And you had persimmons again!

Liz said...

Wow! yummy! I have yet to pay this new location a visit.

3 bites