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Pecan Crusted Fish

Shortly after our aliyah, I had a nasty encounter with an unpalatable Nile Perch, and the residual trauma remained. Although I'm assured there is far more to local fish than this aggressive ocean invader, I insist on playing it safe, and remain loyal to faithful salmon, and always dependable South African hake. Hake - a close relation to clean-tasting cod or pollock - is packaged under the 'Sun Fish' brand, but the delivery boxes show it comes directly from well known fish suppliers I&J in South Africa. Unlike its competition, it contains 100% fish, which means that it isn't soggy when defrosted. It can be baked in the oven with a sauce or simple seasoning, fried in a batter to produce English pub results, and is amazingly economical. Dress up this every-day essential with this simply delicious pecan crumb topping and elevate it to star status!

800 grams hake, cut into individual servings Salt and pepper Fresh lemon juice COATING 3 (45 ml) tablespoons butter 3 (45 ml) tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons (10 ml) crushed garlic 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) dried dill OR tarragon (see notes) CRUMB 1 cup (250 ml) fresh, white breadcrumbs OR Panko 1/2 cup (125 ml) finely chopped pecan nuts 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped parsley 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) grated lemon zest Pinch of salt 1: Mix coating ingredients together, place fish flat in a baking dish, and brush with coating mixture. 2: Turn pieces over, brush the other side to coat and set remaining coating mixture aside, and then season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. 3: Mix crumb ingredients together, add remaining coating mixture to moisten, and scatter evenly over fish. 4: Bake open in a in a preheated oven at 180 C for 25 to 30 minutes till the topping is golden-brown and the fish is cooked through.

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