Pecan-Crusted Fish with Crab Salad and Crushed Corn Sauce

Photo of the Commander's Palace sign for Pecan-Crusted Fish with Crab Salad and Crushed Corn Sauce RecipeCommander’s Palace
When we decided to head to New Orleans, I knew the one thing that we had to do was have dinner at Commander’s Palace, an icon of the New Orleans culinary tradition. It has launched the careers of many a celebrity chef and earned countless awards along the way. There was no way I was not eating at this establishment. I made our reservations the minute the date was available, two months prior to getting on a plane.

By far, the hardest thing we had to do was not eat too much during the day. It wasn’t easy but somehow, we muddled through.

The sacrifice was worth it. We feasted on classic Cajun fare and had to be rolled into our Uber. There was turtle soup (I know, but we had to give it a try). There was gumbo and crawfish. There was also the world-famous bread pudding soufflé.

My choice for dinner was the iconic Pecan-Crusted Fish with Crab Salad and Crushed Corn Sauce. A longtime staple on the menu, the fish was perfectly cooked, the corn sauce was amazing and don’t get me started on the crab on top. Both my husband and I agreed it was the best choice between the two of us (though perhaps not as healthy as we might have hoped).

I wasn’t able to find the exact recipe in either of my Commander’s Palace cookbooks, but I was able to find it online thanks to the Today Show.

Pecan-Crusted Fish with Crab Salad and Crushed Corn Sauce Recipe
Adapted from Today and Commander’s Palace
Yields 6 servings

Crunchy pecans add texture and nutty flavor to mild white fish. The sweet crab salad and fresh corn sauce, round out this signature dish that is not difficult to prepare at home.

For the Corn Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
5 ears corn
1/2 gallon cream
1 chopped onion
Chopped fresh thyme, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Pecan-Crusted Fish
1-1/2 cups pecan halves
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Creole seafood seasoning, to taste
1 medium egg
1 cup milk
6 fish fillets free of bones and scales (5 to 7 ounces each; use flounder, bass, catfish, or any thin, smaller, non-oily fish)
4 tablespoons butter

For the salad
4 ounces mixed baby greens
2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs
1/2 pound Champagne-poached jumbo lump crabmeat, picked free of shell
2 tablespoons cane vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Make the Corn Sauce
Combine butter and flour n a heavy-bottomed pot and cook it over medium heat, stirring frequently until it becomes the color of milk chocolate.

Cut the corn kernels off the cobs. Add the kernels and cream to the pot. Bring it to a boil and add the chopped onion. Stir in the chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the Pecan-Crusted Fish
Place the pecans, flour, and Creole seasoning in a food processor and process until it is finely ground. Transfer the pecan flour to a large bowl.

Whisk the egg in a large mixing bowl and add the milk. Season both sides of the fish fillet with Creole seasoning. One at a time, place the fillets in the egg wash.

Remove one fillet from the egg wash, letting any excess fluid drain back into the bowl. Dredge the fillet in the pecan flour and coat both sides. Shake off any excess. Transfer the fish onto a dry sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining fillets.

Fry the fish
Place a large skillet over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Heat until the butter is completely melted and starts to bubble (about 2 minutes). Place three fish fillets in the pan and cook until the fish is an even brown (about 1-1/2 minutes per side). Remove the fish, place it on a baking rack, and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel.

Add another 2 tablespoons of butter, and repeat with the remaining pieces of fish.

Prepare the greens
In a large bowl toss greens, herbs, crabmeat, and vinegar. Then season the greens with salt and pepper.

To serve
Divide the corn sauce into six serving plates, place a piece of the fish in the center of the sauce, and top with salad.


Comments are closed.