Monday, January 7, 2013

ALMOND-PECAN-CRUSTED SNAPPER


One more piece of snapper was left from hubby's fishing trip in July.  I decided to coat the thawed fish with luscious local pecans, almond flour and seasonings and saute it in olive oil and butter.  This is my new favorite way to cook snapper and other white fish.  The nuts impart a wonderful flavor, and they make the fish more satisfying.

I've also made this recipe with flounder.  While fresh, local fish is always the best, you can use frozen and thawed if you prefer.  Here in East Carolina, flounder is always in season.  B&J's on Route 70 is the best source, unless, of course, you know a fisherman or have a boat yourself.  Pecans have been scarce and pricey this year, but I did manage to get some without breaking the bank.  Hope you did, too, because the flavor of the pecans is prevalent in this dish, and I can't imagine substituting any other nut.  Almond meal can be purchased online or at Harris Teeter or Wal-Mart.  Store it in the freezer in its original bag placed inside a larger freezer bag.  It will keep about a year, and makes wonderful frangipane desserts.

Almond-Pecan-Crusted Snapper
Rating:  10 out of 10
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INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup chopped untoasted pecans
2 Tbsp. almond flour (almond meal) or very finely chopped almonds
2 Tbsp. Panko breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp. whole wheat bread chopped or torn into pieces
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch Diamond kosher salt
Pinch white pepper
1 lb. (skinned both sides) snapper fillets (or other mild white fish)
1/4 tsp. Diamond kosher salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
2 Tbsp. white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup milk
1-1/2 tsp. hot sauce
1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

In mini food processor, combine pecans, almond flour, Panko, whole wheat bread, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Pulse a few times, till ingredients are finely ground and well mixed.  Pour onto 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 white whole wheat flour onto another sheet of wax paper   Pour milk into shallow bowl and stir in hot sauce.  Heat oven to 350F.  Set out a cast-iron frying pan (or other heavy pan).  Cut lemon into 4 wedges.  Dredge fish pieces in whole wheat flour, dip in milk mixture, then into nut/bread mixture.

Heat fry pan on medium heat.  Add oil and butter.  When oil and butter start to foam, add fish pieces.  Cook about 3 minutes, or till underside is golden brown; turn fish over and place in oven for about 5 minutes, or till fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork.  Serve hot with lemon wedges.  Yield:  2-4 servings



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