So I thought that I would try a slightly-altered version of the Almond Crusted Trout found in Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer's A Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook, since my local grocery store did not have trout on sale when I bought the ingredients yesterday. It certainly was very different to the simple (and perhaps relatively bland) approach to fish cooking, as there were several herbs that went into making the coating. In a blender, I chopped almonds, fresh parsley and dill, shallots, and bread crumbs before adding garlic, an egg, and lemon juice. The mixture looked rather unappetizing, being a faint yellow-green in color, and the smell was an odd combination of herbs, garlic, and citrus. So with some trepidation, I first coated the fish in flour and then spread this mixture over it (it was sticky, so I used a butter knife to coat both sides) and then set it in the oven to bake for a little over an hour at 350°.
Below is an image of the two fish after I removed it from the oven:
The flavor is hard to describe. At first, I noticed the crunchiness that would be expected with almonds and bread crumbs forming the coat base. Then there were the alternating hints of the herbs, shallots, and garlic, yet none of them dominated. Somehow, they all blended together to create something that had elements of tanginess and herbs, yet the taste of the catfish itself was not overpowered by this. Yet for some time afterward, perhaps because I am unused to using shallots or dill in cooking, there was this faint aftertaste that, while not exactly unpleasant, was noticeable for at least an hour after I finished eating.
Almond-crusted fish is something that I might want to try again, but with some modifications to avoid that above-mentioned aftertaste. I think adding butter and taking away the fresh dill and shallots might make for a meal that is a bit lighter in taste while still having the crunchy qualities that this meal provides. This is not a negative critique of this recipe but rather a thought of how later to incorporate elements of this recipe into preparing one of my favorite meals with elements that I have used for years.