Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crappie With Brown Butter Prosciutto Caper Sauce

We’ve made a dish titled ‘Pan Seared Catfish With Brown Butter On Black Olive Toast’ and we think it’s delicious, so we decided to have a version of it for dinner last night. As I mentioned several posts ago, we have several packages of frozen crappie so it’s fish night again. Following is the recipe for the complete dish and when I first saw it and showed Bev, she was less than enthused about having it. After several trys, she finally said she'd try it if I wanted to cook it. After one bite she said this is definitely a company quality meal and I agreed. We've since served it a few times to guests and it has always been a hit.

Makes 4 servings
Prep time 20-30 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes for four

3.8 oz Can sliced ripe olives, drained and minced
1 ½ tsp Coarse mustard
3 ½ tsp Olive oil
Four Catfish fillets, 4-6 oz, ½ inch thick
1 tsp Hot sauce
1 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp Butter
2 oz Prosciutto or country ham, julienned (we’ve tried both and notice no difference)
1 Tbsp Capers, rinsed and chopped
3 Tbsp Sliced almonds, toasted
Four French bread, ½ inch slices

1. In a small bowl mix olives, mustard, and 1 ½ tsp olive oil. Set aside.
2. Heat oven to 250 F.
3. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tsp olive oil, hot sauce, and lemon juice. Brush on both sides of fish. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add fish fillets, two at a time. Cook about 5 minutes per side, or until brown, turning only once. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining fish fillets.
4. Over medium heat, melt butter in same skillet (fish drippings remain in skillet). When lightly brown, add prosciutto and sauté for a couple of minutes – be sure to mix in all pan drippings. Remove from heat and stir in capers and almonds.
5. Just before serving, toast French bread and spread with black olive mixture. Place a piece of toast on each plate, top with catfish , and spoon over prosciutto-butter sauce.

For this meal, we decided to forego the olive toast part and just do the fish and sauce/topping, substituting crappie for catfish.

The first step for me was to toast the almonds which I just did in a small dry skillet.

These are the ingredients for the fry coating. The used tequila bottle with the cactus in it makes a nice decorative olive oil bottle to keep beside the cooktop.

My little pile of prosciutto from Bentons Country Ham prior to chopping.

Everything ready for the fry coating and the sauce/topping.

The crappie is dry and ready for the fry coating to be brushed on.

I fried the crappie to a light brown on both sides. These little fellers are very delicate, especially the little wing-like piece.

I just browned the butter slightly, added the ham and warmed it with maybe a slight crisping. Then turned off the heat, added the capers and almonds and it was ready to go.

This is my plate using my usual camera settings.

This is my plate after my daughter, Wende, showed me some settings on the camera that allow me to do many more things than I knew of.

Hopefully, my pictures will now improve - especially if I can hold the camera steady - may have to get me a tripod.

Have a great day and I enjoy your comments.



  1. oh yeah bigdude, that new camera setting really makes dat food *pop* ... looks very realistic, can almost taste the food. thankfully, yer daughter withheld that information from you until AFTER you posted dem liver pics. lol ok, dat liver horse is dead now, so i'll quit beatin' it...

  2. Dang that looks tasty Big Dude! Thanks for the recipe, I've got fish in the freezer that might work well with this.
    Thank you! :)

  3. Point and shoot cameras have a few tricks up their sleeves these days. :)

    And who knows, Chez? Maybe that liver would have looked a little more appetizing with the right lighting and a bold angle. Then again, maybe not. ;)

    The sauce for the fish is fantastic, by the way. It kept disappearing from the pan the longer it sat on the stove well after we'd finished dinner.

  4. oh yeah, i agree about the sauce ~ it looked great and i'm a huge crappie fan. the liver, eh ~ not so much. (g) hay, mebbe that sauce would be good on liver???

  5. Chez - We'll see how I do on todays pics. I may have to do more liver - first time I ever had 10 comments.

    Jeanie - If you try it, let me know what you think. It's good as we fixed it, but better with the olive toast.

  6. That is really jazzing up the crappie, isn't it? Nicely done, Larry!


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