Creole Pecan Catfish

This dish was one of our more popular choices at the Downtown Grill in Oxford. Though a Creole mustard is used here, the recipe works well with any full-flavored mustard, a brown, stone-ground, or even a Dijon.

Oil and line a skillet or sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400. Mix 1 cup finely chopped pecans with about a quarter cup finely-crushed saltines. You can use Panko instead, but for some reason I never seem to have any Panko, but always have saltines. Mix ¼ cup mustard with 1 large egg and ¼ cup water. Beat very well. Dredge the fish through the mustard mixture and coat the tops of the filets in pecans. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, depending upon the size of the filet. These are served with a rice vinaigrette, but a creamy potato salad would be wonderful, too.

Broiled Whole Fish

In this case  catfish, but the method works with any small fish, not much less nor much more than a pound. Pat whole gutted, scaled and skinned fish dry–this is an important step–score and slather with softened butter flavored with thyme, garlic, pepper and paprika. Place in a well-oiled pan, add  lemons with juice  and put in a very hot oven until fish flakes easily to the bone. A final squeeze of fresh lemon and a drizzle of oil before serving adds much to the dish.