Sunday, January 31, 2016

Betty Crocker Cookbook #28: Pecan-Crusted Fish Fillets (pg. 243) - 160127

It took me a while to make up my mind regarding the fish to purchase when I was at the grocery store this week. Most fresh fish is pretty expensive around here, but I settled on Basa fillets (boneless and skinless) because they seemed suitable and were not nearly as pricey as (for example) the tilapia or the Atlantic cod. One aspect of this project I'm really looking forward to is the fish and shellfish chapter, because I eat very little fish normally. Aside from the occasional bit of tuna, I almost never eat anything from the sea or freshwater.

The reason it took me a long time to choose the basa was mainly because it is not included on the list of fishes on page 242 of Betty Crocker - there's a helpful table for classifying fish. Mostly it comes down to the texture of the meat. Some recipes call for "medium-firm texture", others for "delicate to medium" or "firm". I gather these differences would affect cooking times and temperatures, and the ways one might handle the fish pieces during cooking. A bit of googling reveals that basa is southeast-Asian catfish, farmed in the Mekong river. There's actually a fair bit of discussion regarding basa online, and I'm not sure I'll buy it a second time. This is part of the reason I so rarely eat fish: I don't want to contribute to an industry that has so many harmful environmental impacts across so many different ecosystems.

No photo this time, because somehow it completely slipped my mind. Chopping up the pecans took a bit of time, and only about half of them stuck to the egg-dipped fish fillets. So some of the pecans ended up fried directly in the pan, which was fine, it's not like nuts go soft in a frying pan or anything.

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