Southern cuisine does not always mean processed foods and saturated fat, explains Virginia Willis, native-born Georgian chef and author of cookbook "Back to Basics Y'all". This recipe proves that down home Southern cookin' can be both hearty and healthy.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup canola oil, plus more for the baking sheet
  • 1 Cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup plain or whole-wheat fresh or panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) skin-on trout fillets
  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Preparation

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with canola oil and place in the oven to warm.

Step 2:

Combine the pecans, breadcrumbs, and parsley in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Season with salt and pepper. Press the flesh side of each fillet into the pecan mixture.

Step 3:

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place 2 trout in the pan, crust side down, and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook until fish is opaque in the center and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 4:

Transfer the trout to the prepared baking sheet, crust side up. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Repeat the process with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the remaining 2 trout fillets.

Step 5:

Transfer to warmed serving plates and serve immediately, garnished with the lemon.

Brilliant Short Recipe: Pecan Brown Butter

Basic panfried trout is elevated to brilliant when dressed with Pecan Brown Butter.

Step 1:

Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels.

Step 2:

Add 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter and melt over medium heat. Allow the butter to foam and turn medium brown, swirling the pan occasionally.

Step 3:

Remove the pan from the heat, add the finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, and 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley; season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Step 4:

Place the trout, crust side up, on warmed serving plates. Drizzle with the pecan butter. Serve immediately.