An eat local challenge...challenge (Pecan Crusted Catfish with sauteed summer veggies)

As you may know, I am not a huge fan of seafood.  This is a bit of a conundrum for a foodie living in New Orleans.  Especially since I grew up here and grew up Catholic.  Fridays during Lent when I was a child were my first signs that I would be a dabbling vegetarian as an adult.  

One of my goals for when I hit one year of blogging next month was that I wanted to incorporate more seafood.  I am almost there so it was time.  I signed up for the eat local challenge and some technical difficulties (delayed flight home from North Carolina and car being in the shop) caused me to have to do my grocery shopping for the first week of the challenge at the bougy downtown Rouses that is walkable from work.  I was trying to be strict.  They did not have local pork, beef and chicken like my old and better Rouses.  They did have local catfish.  I hadn't had catfish in years but I remembered tolerating it when I was younger.

I had an open bag of local pecans so I decided to be fancy and make pecan crusted catfish.  It was a good decision.  The pecans really brought out the sweetness of the catfish and make it taste better than the bottom feeder it is.  This was super easy and I highly suggest you try this with catfish or any other mild fish you have lying around.  I served it with some sauteed local squash and tomatoes.  I missed onions and garlic.  Add those and you have a fantastic summer side.  Full recipe to follow.

Looking pretty good!  I love roasted tomatoes so much!
The cast.  That is some breadcrumbs I made from my own homemade bread in the ziploc.
Soak the fish in your milk of choice.  I liked the coconut flavor from this milk.
Make your crust in the blender or food processor.
I just love summer squashes and zucchini!
Season your catfish and crust it.
Saute up your veggies.
Get a cast iron good and hot and place your fish it it to cook and brown.
Add those yummy tomatoes.
Plate and enjoy!
Even more enjoyable with local wine and dipping sauce.  
Pecan Crusted Catfish:

4 catfish filets
milk of your choice
3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
1 cup pecans, ground
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning (or more)
salt and pepper to tasted

Soak the catfish in milk.  Mix together the breadcrumbs, pecans and cajun seasoning.  Remove the fish and season with salt and pepper.  Coat the fish with the pecan mixture.  Heat a cast iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and when oil is shimmering, add catfish.  You may have to do in batches.  Heat on each side for 5-7 minutes until crust darkens and fish is cooked through.  

Happy Cooking!


*Note, I wish I would have known about the mustard trick when I made this! I would have totally done that!

*Note 2 I was going to try and blog and convention but looking like that can't happen.  So I am taking the next two days off.  See you on Monday for a recap!  Have a great weekend!

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