Pan-Seared Fish Fillets with Cashew and Sesame Crust
This fish recipe is so good. I got the idea from a menu of a local restaurant called the Oceanic. They served it with celery mashed potatoes and red pepper butter. It was my mother's favorite main dish at the restaurant. I was able to recreate it based on what I tasted and the description on the menu. I serve the fish with my version of red pepper butter and smashed potatoes with celery and onions, both of which are in the similar and related recipes links. The original recipe called for grouper. However, many species of grouper have been overfished and, as of this writing, on the endangered list. Sea bass is an acceptable substitute, as is any mild, white-fleshed fish that is sustainable and available at the time.
- 1 cup lightly salted or unsalted cashews
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs, preferably homemade
- 4 grouper, sea bass or other firm, white-fleshed fish fillets, about 1-inch thick and 6 ounces each
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup milk or cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
- Roasted Red Pepper Butter (optional garnish, see the similar and related recipes)
Place the cashews in a processor and pulse until finely ground, being very careful not to process into butter. Place on a flat plate. Mix in the sesame seeds and breadcrumbs until well combined. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Dip first in the egg mixture, removing excess, then in the crumb mixture, turning to coat all sides very well. Place on racks set over a sheet pan and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes to help the crumbs adhere.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat again. Add the fish and sear until the bottom is nicely browned. Turn the fish and place the skillet into the hot oven. Bake until the fish is cooked through, about 8 minutes depending on thickness. Serve immediately on individual plates and, if desired, topped with a pat of the roasted red pepper butter.