6 6 oz fish fillets
1 1/2 c pecans halves
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 c yellow cornmeal
1 c mayonnaise
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely-chopped
2 tbsps sweet pickle relish
2 tbsps fresh dill, chopped
1 juice from fresh lemon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
salt and pepper goes into both batter and sauce
Fill deep fryer with oil. Heat to 375° F; this will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Spread all the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes stirting occasionally, until lightly browned and aromatic. Transfer pecans to a plate and let cool.
In a food processor, pulse 1 cup of the cooled pecans just until they resemble coarse meal, saving remainder of pecans for garnishing. Do not over-process.
Rinse the fish filets and pat dry with paper towels. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. In another shallow bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, ¾ cup pecan meal, salt, and pepper. Dip each filet into the buttermilk mixture, then coat evenly with the
flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Place coated filets onto a baking sheet.
Working in batches, fry the filets until golden brown on the outside and meat is opaque on the inside, about 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, carefully remove filets from basket and transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm until all the filets are cooked. Garnish
with lemon wedges and pecan halves. Pass around the chilled sauce at the table.
Pepper Pecan Sauce:
In food processor, combine ¼ cup pecan meal, mayonnaise, shallots, jalapeño, pickle relish, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pulse until well blended but still chunky.
Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.