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Cookin' ATVS Style: Pecan-Crusted Drum with Pecan Butter

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Like I said, sometimes I can get fancy.

The other day I was trying to think of something to do with two large Black Drum filets that I'd gotten from my dad. I'd experimented with battering fish in ground nuts before, with just straight ground pecans, but found that they burned in the cooking process. This time, I tried mixing it in with some flour. The results came out pretty tasty.

Pan-searing fish can be difficult without the scales, but using a coating and a little bit of flour can help.

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Ingredients

2 large fish filets (I used Black Drum here, so of course Redfish could substitute, or any firm-fleshed fish)
8 oz. pecan halves
1 cup flour
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1/2 cup milk)

I ground up enough of the pecans to make about a half of a cup. The rest I roasted in a 250-degree oven. Just throw them in a baking sheet and check them pretty frequently. At about 10 minutes or so (give or take), they should start to darken. I'm usually not a big fan of raw pecans, but roasted ones are fantastic.

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Instructions

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the ground pecans and flour until well mixed. In another bowl, combine the milk and eggs to make a wash.

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2. Wash and dry the fish filets, watching for any boney flesh you can clean off.

3. Melt four tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a skillet.

4. Dredge each filet lightly in the flour mixture, then in the wash, and then back in the flour until they are well coated. Shake to remove any excess.

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5. Place in skillet and pan-fry until well-browned (you should be able to see the edges of the bottom starting to brown and crust), flip, and finish cooking. If I had to guess, this should all take 10 minutes or so.

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6. Remove the fish from the skillet, and throw in the rest of the butter. Whisk well until its completely melted (be sure to scrape the skillet and break up any bits stuck on the skillet if you can). Once melted, whisk in the lemon zest, garlic powder and remaining pecans until well-blended and heated through. Pour over the fish and serve.

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Obviously this recipe covered two large filets, but the pecan crust made enough to coat a couple of smaller filets. Use your best judgment.