Thursday, February 19, 2009

pecan-coated roughy

Yum-O! (umm... did I just say that?)

I have to admit that I have never really been a fan of fish. I LOVE fish sticks. And (thanks to my husband), I love sushi (tuna and salmon only, and only the kind without seaweed... none of those ucky rolls for me!). But otherwise I don't eat much fish, and I can honestly say I've never cooked it before. The hubby has grilled tuna steaks and made tilapia once, but that's it.

So this was a fishy experiment for me! I bought the orange roughy fillets frozen because they were cheaper that way (and living in the Midwest, the fish in my grocer's "fresh" case is all previously frozen anyway). I grabbed a small bag of pecans because I didn't want to have a lot of excess left over. That was my biggest mistake - after I chopped them up in my food processor (score!) I started breading the fish without measuring. I didn't even have a quarter of the pecans needed to coat those puppies! Thankfully I had a can of cashews in the pantry, so I improvised and we had Pecan/Cashew-Coated Roughy!

I am horrible at timing multiple recipes to be done at the same time. So unfortunately the sauce was finished shortly after I put the fish in the oven, and thickened a bit more than I would have liked. But it was still yummy! My other big mistake was failing to realize that fish isn't that filling. My husband and I are big eaters, and need a plate full of food to fill us up. Even eating two fillets each, we still needed more substance. So at the last minute we threw a bag of beer battered french fries in the oven to round the meal out (such a great compliment to fish, lol!).

Again, a learning experience! Next time I will buy a BIG bag of pecans and plan to cook up some broccoli on the side. Otherwise, I have to say that I will try this one again! The taste was great - not a super-fishy fish (which is good for me). The sauce was also really good. The orange flavor was reminiscent of orange marmalade without the weird texture, and not so sweet. I will say that the sauce is great spread over the top, but the fish is too flaky to pick it up and dip. Another lesson learned! Finally, after my harrowing experience with honey Dijon mustard with Pretzel-Crusted Chicken, I opted for honey mustard instead.

Pecan-Coated Roughy

1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4 orange roughy fillets (6 oz each)
1 tbsp chopped shallot
2 tsp butter
1/2 cup white wine
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup orange juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Place egg and pecans in separate bowls. Dip fillets into egg, then coat with pecans. Place in greased 15-inch x 10 inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, saute shallot in butter until tender. Add wine. Bring to a boil; cook for 1-2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, orange juice and mustard until smooth; stir into wine mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with orange roughy.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious Cookbook

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