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Monday, December 17, 2007

Coconut Crusted Basa & More

Okay after many requests for it here is the Chef K’s Coconut Crusted Basa recipe, enjoy.

First things first however, some may not know or had the experience of eating Basa at the restaurants, so a little background. Basa is a type of catfish (Pangasius bocourti) grown in the Mekong river delta of Vietnam. It belongs to the shark catfish family found through out Asia. It is a mild whitefish not as strong in flavour to it’s American cousin, but can be used for all catfish recipes (I even use it for a great beer battered fish & chip) so it is very versatile.

1 avocado
½ cups mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
½ cup thick coconut cream
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup papaya nectar
1 tsp crushed red chilies
3 oz crushed pecans
3 oz shredded coconut
2 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
6-6 0z Basa Fillets
6 tbsp melted butter

Preheat the oven to 400.
Peel and seed the avocado and place into a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and process into a smooth sauce . Reserve.

Blend the pecans, coconut and Panko together.

Spread the sauce very lightly over the fish fillets, Press into the bread crumb mixture, place on a lightly oiled baking sheets, brush with melted butter and bake for 15 minutes, serve with the remaining sauce on side.

Oven Roasted Basa With Sweet Onion Marmalade
2 pounds sweet Vidalia onions, thinly sliced (about 8 small onions)
2 cups chicken stock or canned broth
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 quart heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 - 6 oz Basa fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the marmalade, place onions in a large, heavy saucepan and add chicken stock. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add thyme leaves and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until onions start to color and liquid is almost evaporated. Add cream and cook until mixture thickens. Add vinegar and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place basa fillets on a flat surface. Season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the onion marmalade over each fillet. Starting with the smaller tail end, tightly roll fillets and secure with toothpicks. Arrange rolled fillets in a shallow baking dish several inches apart. Top each with 1 tablespoon of marmalade.

Bake for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Place 3 tablespoons of marmalade on each warmed serving plate and top with the cooked fillets. Remove toothpicks before serving with a Raisin Almond rice pilaff.

Creole Basa Cakes
1Lb. Basa fillets
6 tablespoons Butter
¾ cup Flour
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon Salt
1 tbsp Chef K’s Cajun seasonings
1½ cups Bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup Green onions, finely chopped
½ teaspoon Tabasco
1½ cups Fresh breadcrumbs

Broil or grill the Basa fillets -- over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes per side, or until flesh flakes with fork. Allow fillets to cool.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the flour. Stir constantly for 2 to 3 minutes, while the roux bubbles. Add the milk slowly, continuing to stir until the cream sauce is thick, 10 to 12 minutes, add the seasonings and mix well

Flake the catfish fillets into a bowl. Add the cream sauce and the remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Use the fish mixture immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Using a large spoon, make cakes with the fix mixture and coat them completely with more fresh breadcrumbs. Using a heavy skillet, saute the patties gently in 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter, until they are browned. Keep warm while you continue cooking the cakes, adding more oil and butter as needed.

I’ll be back this week with our Christmas recipes.

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