Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere with Spicy Sauteed Greens

4.72 from 7 votes
45 minutes
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Servin’ up catfish N’Awlins style!  Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere is my healthy interpretation of the Palace Cafe classic.  Spicy Sauteed Greens make the perfect side dish!

Photo of Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere with Spicy Sauteed Greens on black plate being drizzled with lemon butter.

The inspiration behind this recipe:

Ever have one of those meals where you wake up the next morning thinking about the amazing meal you had the night before?

Yeah.  This one.

Not long after my husband and I were married, we drove down to New Orleans for a long weekend.  After checking into our quaint, boutique hotel that my genius husband found for half the normal price, we went for a stroll in the French Quarter.  We were getting hungry after the long drive from Memphis so we decided the first place that looked interesting, we’d try and get a table.

That place happened to be the famous Palace Cafe and I thoroughly enjoyed their Catfish Pecan Meuniere, a signature dish of theirs.  Every.  Last.  Beautiful bite.

I enjoyed this dish so much that I purchased their cookbook so I could make it at home.  However, when I saw the amount of butter and cream in their recipe, I freaked a little bit and decided to come up with a healthier version.  This version of their dish is one of our favorite fish dishes to make at home and it’s deliciously easy!

Photo of pecans spilling out of glass jar.

What is Meunière?

‘Meunière, French for “miller’s wife,” refers to both a sauce and method of preparation mainly for fish.  The sauce is often just browned butter, lemon juice and chopped parsley.

For meunière as to how you would prepare fish, you would dredge the fish in seasoned flour and pan-fry, usually in butter.

The Palace Cafe dresses theirs up with pecans and it’s a lovely addition!  However, I have a “thing” about frying nuts because they can go from zero to burned in very little time.  So, to make it healthier and avoid burned nuts, I just bake it.

Tips for making Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere:

  • To chop the nuts, you can use a manual nut chopper or do them by hand with a knife, but a mini food processor works perfectly.
  • When using a mini food processor, be sure to just finely chop the pecans.  If you process them too long, you risk their becoming pasty and close to the texture of a “nut butter.”
Photo of ground pecans in mini food processor.
  • Farm-raised catfish is one of the few farm-raised fish I will eat as long as it’s raised in the U.S.  In fact, the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch program considers domestically-farmed catfish to be a “best choice.  Wild-caught catfish tastes a bit too “earthy” for my palate.  Do your research and ask the fishmonger where the fish is raised.
Photo of fresh catfish fillets on white butcher paper before being coated and baked.
  • If you’re not a catfish fan, substitute any flaky white fish such as sole, flounder, tilapia or barramundi.  If you’re allergic to fish, try this preparation with chicken.
  • Coat the fish with the spicy pecan combination…
Photo of catfish fillet with pecan coating before being baked.
  • And bake!
Photo of catfish fillets in baking pan after being baked.
  • Palace Cafe serves a decadent butter and cream sauce with their dish.  To make my version healthier, I make a sauce using a light butter spread (such as Land O’Lakes).  Light butter can’t take a lot of heat for regular cooking and doesn’t brown like regular butter, but it tastes fairly rich and melts smoothly.
Photo of melted butter in small saucepan with some on a spoon.
Photo of Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere with Spicy Sauteed Greens on black plate.

My Spicy Sauteed Greens make the perfect side dish.  Use Swiss chard, kale, turnip, collards or spinach.  After a quick saute, I jazz them up with fresh garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and a splash of red wine vinegar.

Photo of sauteed greens in skillet.

Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere with Spicy Sauteed Greens!  Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Photo of Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere with a piece of fish on fork ready to be eaten.

Thanks to Schermer Pecans for sending me the beautiful pecans I used in this recipe!

For more super tasty fish dishes, be sure to try my:

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Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere with butter being drizzled over a piece.

Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere with Spicy Sauteed Greens

4.72 from 7 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Baked Catfish Pecan Meuniere is my healthy interpretation of the Palace Cafe classic.  Spicy Sauteed Greens make the perfect side dish!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Fish and Seafood
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 914 kcal

Ingredients
  

Catfish

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup pecans
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper - or to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 (6-8 ounce) catfish fillets - rinsed and patted dry

Meuniere Sauce

  • 1/2 cup light butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Hot sauce - to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley plus more for garnish - plus more for garnish

Greens

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil - or vegetable oil
  • 1-2 bunches Swiss chard - or other greens such as kale, turnip, collard greens or spinach, cut into strips or coarsely chopped if greens are large
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar - or to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Instructions
 

Catfish

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Combine pecans, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and cayenne in a mini food processor. Process until finely chopped. Transfer to a plate.
  • Place flour on another plate. Season with salt and black pepper. Whisk egg and milk together in a bowl.
  • Dredge catfish in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in egg mixture, then into pecan – spice mixture. Place on the prepared baking dish and spray with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until fish easily flakes with a fork.

Meuniere Sauce

  • Combine light butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire and hot sauce in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter is melted. Stir in parsley.

Greens

  • Heat oil in a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the greens in large handfuls. Use tongs to toss the greens around, adding more fresh green ones as the ones in the pan wilt.
  • Add the garlic, cook briefly until fragrant (15 seconds), then add crushed red pepper flakes, vinegar and salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serve fish over greens. Drizzle with butter sauce.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Catfish can be assembled 1 day ahead of time.  Refrigerate until needed then bake as directed.  Meuniere sauce can be made 1 day ahead of time.  Gently reheat on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 914kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 86g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Monounsaturated Fat: 41g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 1017mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 12050IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 190mg | Iron: 7mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.72 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight and it was just fabulous! My husband absolutely loved it too. It will go on our monthly menu, maybe even our weekly menu. Thank you for a great recipe.

  2. This looks amazing! However, we can’t use flour or butter at all when we cook. Are there other alternatives for flour and butter that we can use instead and have it still taste the same?

    1. Hi, Brittany, Thanks so much for your question. You can brush on a little bit of Dijon mustard then coat the fish in the pecans. As far as the butter, I would suggest a plant-based butter such as Earth Balance. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  3. Wow- so yummy! Absolutely beautiful pictures!! Your food always looks so perfect! I’m definately trying this one soon!!

  4. The is my kind of meal! Your pecan crust has just the perfect browning. Add to it a healthier sauce is always a plus. I love the idea of having this over the sauteed greens. My son catches a lot of blues and fluke in the spring/summer. This would do great even on those fish! Can’t wait to try this for my family

  5. As I was reading the recipe I was going to ask about substituting the catfish for another fish. I swear that’s about the only fish I really don’t care for. To me, it just tastes muddy. The recipe sounds fantastic. Hubby should be catching some flounder soon so that’s what I’ll use for the fish. Hope you and your house are back to normal. Have a great week.

    1. Thanks, Marisa! Absolutely use another fish. I’m funny about catfish too, but I’m okay with U. S. farm-raised. It doesn’t have that “muddy” flavor. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!