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Pecan-Crusted Catfish

We did a trek to the Wayne Music Festival this afternoon. Heard some fun music, bought a new pair of handmade thongs – that’s flip-flops for the non-Californians – with a lifetime guarantee. I remember years ago when we were in a shop on the boardwalk in Ocean City and I asked the teenaged girl if they had any thongs. The look of horror on her face was priceless!

The festival was fun, albeit hot – 90° heat and humidity. We heard some good music. Lots of food stalls and beer stalls, not a lot of crafts and stuff, but a fun way to spend the day after work. Joan Osborne is playing tonight at 9pm. Sadly, we won’t be making it back for her show.

After work…

15 workdays to go. The countdown really has begun. My dear coworkers have moved the countdown picture of me to the demo station. All day long I heard – Is that you? Are you retiring? What are you going to do? You’re going to be bored. I also heard a lot of you’re going to be missed. I’m going to miss a lot of them, as well. Not enough to keep working, though. My time has come.

I think the strangest thing people say is you’re going to be bored

I.Don’t.Think.So.

There are just too many things to do besides going to work – regardless of how much you’ve enjoyed that work over the years. It’s going to add some spontaneity into the day – like the ability to jump onto the train and head into the city for a buck to pick up something at Reading Terminal Market. The service down there is always exemplary and removing time constraints will make the shopping even better.

Or seeking out a new ethnic grocer – finding new foods that aren’t available at our white bread suburban stores.

Bored?!? Not at all. I may get even fatter than I am, now, but I sure as hell won’t be bored.

Which brings us to the pecan-crusted catfish we had for dinner. I saw a few recipes on Chef Google that looked interesting… Sometimes I will walk into the kitchen and just make something. Other times I’ll grab a book or a magazine to get ideas. Other times it’s Chef Google – type in a couple of ingredients and see what comes up. With the internet at our disposal, there’s really no reason why absolutely anyone can’t cook. [I’ll tuck that one away for retirement…]

There was a recipe on the Food Network website for a Pecan-Crusted Catfish with Spicy Cream Sauce that sounded promising. I went to work

Pecan-Crusted Catfish with Spicy Cream Sauce

Catfish:

  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted pecans
  • flour
  •  egg

Spicy Cream Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup onion chunks
  • 2 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup clam juice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Finely chop pecans, corn meal, and corn flour with a pinch of salt and pepper in food processor.

Place flour, egg mixed with a splash of water, and cornmeal mix in separate bowls. Dredge fish in flour, egg, and then cornmeal.

Melt butter and oil in skillet and brown fish on one side – about 3 minutes. Flip and place skillet in oven until fish is cooked through – about 10 minutes.

Make sauce.

Boil the onion and garlic in the clam juice, wine, and water until reduced by about half. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids.

Return broth to pot and add ketchup, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice. Mix well. Whisk in sour cream, and then add butter, one tablespoon at a time, to bring it to a sauce consistency. Add cornstarch mixed with water to thicken more, if desired.

Quick and easy. The crust on the fish was thick and crunchy – with lots of flavor. The sauce was juuuuust spicy enough – and it had a lot of flavor on its own.

Yeah… I don’t think I’m going to be bored…

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