Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cajun Fish with Pecan Butter and Browned Butter

 It has been a lot of years that this recipe has begged to be made. Something about it always sounded so enticing. So luscious. So nutty and rich. I never ate it in N'awlins. In fact, I've never eaten it before last Thursday. But I'm so glad I did make it, that is. And so is Manservant, for that matter. This dish was just a hunk a hunk of burnin' love! (Don't know where that came from!)

I always keep barramundi fillets from Costco in the freezer. They are thawed in no time and I even here of people using them frozen and just adding a little to the cooking time. Now I know that barramundi is not found in Louisiana but catfish is, and redfish and other fishes. All you need is a good firm fleshed fillet. Trout would work too. There are lots of fish in the sea, don't you know?

And pecans? We know those are from the South. In fact, the last time I was in Texas which was way too long ago, we gathered them in a park and then schlepped them on the plane, only to bring them home and find out that most of them were dried out. What a bummer; though that probably saved me some time given that it would have taken a lot of crackin' to get at those pecans. But imagine a whole tree of nuts that no one picked up. Shame, shame, shame!

So now that I've talked a bit about nothing just take my word for it and make this fish. Perfect for company and perfect to let your family know that you love them. After all clogging your arteries with butter is a good thing now and then! I think in this case the healthiness of the nuts balances out the butter, don't you? And since I'm just ranting away, I do believe that Julia Child and Paul Prudhomme had two things in common. One was their height and the other is butter. Man, does this man like butter. And that's a damn good thing for this fish. 

Cajun Fish with Pecan Butter and Browned Butter

Adapted From: Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen
Servings: 4
Time: 30-45 minutes


1 T salt
1 t onion powder
1 t sweet paprika
3/4 t cayenne
1/2 t white pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t dry mustard
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t thyme leaves

1/2 c milk

1 beaten egg
1 c flour
4 fish fillets 
Oil for pan frying
3 T toasted pecans rough chop for garnish


Make Browned Butter sauce and the Pecan Butter. Set aside until needed.
Combine seasoning mix.
Combine milk and egg in a pan large enough to dip fish into. Beat until blended.
On a separate plate add 1 T of the seasoning mix to the flour. Mix well. Sprinkle some of the remaining seasoning mix on both sides of fish, patting it well with your hands. shake off excess.

Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large heavy skillet to about 350 degrees.  Dip in the egg mixture, then dredge in flour again, shaking off excess. Fry in the hot oil about 2-3 minutes per side. Be careful to not burn your coating. Drain on paper towels and while still very hot, spread about 2 T of the pecan butter onto each fillet.

Serve by spooning some of the browned butter onto the bottom of a plate. Top with fish. Sprinkle with reserved pecans. (This can also be served over rice.)

Browned Butter Sauce 

4 T butter
1 T Worcestershire

Melt 4 T of butter in small pan. Let cook and sizzle until brown on medium heat. Watch that this does not burn. Add 1 T of Worcestershire when butter is finished browning. Keep warm.

Pecan Butter 

4 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c toasted chopped pecans
2 T chopped onion
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t Tabasco sauce
1/t t chopped garlic

Place above ingredients for in a blender or food processor and process until smooth, about 2-3 minutes, scraping sides as needed. Reserve to top fish with.

More fun food to try:

Shrimp and Grits
Crispy Chipotle Shrimp and Corn
Barbecued Shrimp Cajun Style
Spinach Salad with Za'atar, Dates and Almonds
Green Onion Garlic Chive Skillet Bread
King Cake
Cajun Potatoes
White Fish with Mushrooms and Browned Butter

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  1. This looks like a terrific recipe! You can't go wrong with pecans. I often buy frozen fish -- it's often actually better quality than "fresh" fish because it was frozen within hours of it being caught, and the fish at your market may be a couple of days old. And I usually don't thaw it before cooking it. I always figure it'll take about twice the time to cook, but start checking about 3/4 into my estimated cooking time in case it gets done sooner. Lotta fun stuff in this post! Thanks.

  2. Not quite sure that I had barramundi before..I love the combo of flavours in this protein rich dish, Abbe. And pecans...definitely a favourite.

  3. Well Abbe - this fish is just lovely. Pecans and browned butter and all those seasonings - great recipe!

  4. I love cajun (and also creole) food...This recipe sounds fantastic and full of flavor -- as everything that comes from or is inspired by NOLA cuisine.

  5. I love pecans and browned butter and that would taste so delicious on top of fish. Yum, can't wait to give this recipe a try. Take Care, BAM

  6. Oh wow wow!!Barramundi and trout are two of my favorite fish. And you already know I love spice - cajun to be precise! YUM!

  7. Mmm browned butter and pecan butter? That sounds like the ultimate seasoning :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. I can't say no to some good ol butter, so a major YUM on this!

  9. That's a fantastic combination, love the idea of pecan butter and fish.
    It looks so yummy.

  10. What a rich and delicious looking fish dish! So flavorful!

  11. I love the flavors in this fish...spicy and nutty...looks delicious Abbe.
    Have a great weekend :D

  12. This sounds like a wonderful dish–haven't had anything like it before!

  13. Oh, yeah, all the herbs and spices must give this dish some marvelous flavor. I think even Bill would eat it if I held the pecans on his piece :)

  14. I had fish like this when I was in New Orleans. Thanks for sharing this recipe, it looks delicious!

  15. It sounds really tasty. I haven't cooked much cajun food but it's a type of cooking I'd like to get to know better. I really like any type of fish and spicy food so this would be right up my street.

  16. Costco is a great place to find and buy frozen fish. As much as I enjoy fresh fish, it's not always fresh-looking and a fillet in the freezer is a far better alternative. This recipe sounds so good! Love the use of pecans with a bit of heat, Abbe. I need to give it a try before springing it on a couple friends for dinner one night. Thanks.

  17. Abbe you are so funny! But your fish recipe is fabulous! Love the pecans and butter!

  18. Pecan and browned butter? Stop right there I'm taking over the bus. Wow, what a clever dish.

  19. Fish = "Hunk a hunk of burnin' love"?!?! Seriously - where do you come up with this stuff!?!? I can always count on you, Abbe! Thanks for the smiles and this gorgeous fish recipe! So many luscious flavors playing together here - so lovely!

  20. Man oh Man whenever I have nut encrusted fish, it was been a memorable eating experience. This recipe goes WAY WAY WAY above that. Okay maybe I am just a wee bit carried away, but how lovely that it is UP. Laughing. Thanx for the recipe

  21. we have not been exposed too much to southern food...this is just great!

  22. Hi! I am hosting my first ever Cunning Ladies' Friday Party in my blog. I would love for you to join us and add this beautiful post there. Love your pictures!