By Chef Mark Shoopman of Lutheran Hillside Village
Preparation for six servings
6 each 3-4 ounce fresh caught or frozen Bluegill fillets, (other pan fish will work also)
cup or as needed Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups Crushed slivered almonds
4 each Shell eggs, cracked and mixed with a fork
1 cup Flour, or FRYCRISP breading mix
As Desired Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Fresh pineapple, fine diced (use only FRESH pineapple, canned is NOT as good)
1 Pound Butter
1 tablespoon Honey
2 teaspoons Fresh parsley, chopped
Pineapple Butter Method:
Let the butter set out at room temperature to soften slightly. Clean and core a fresh pineapple and prepare cup of it fine diced. With a blender at medium to high speed, begin to beat the butter until begins to smooth. Add the pineapple, honey and parsley and beat on high speed until it is fully mixed. Spoon the butter onto the center a sheet of waxed paper and form into a log. Fold the sheet over the butter log and roll tightly. Twist the ends tight and smooth out the log with your hands. Place in the freezer and allow it to freeze until hard. It can be stored in the freezer.
Heat the olive oil over medium to high heat. Do not over heat the oil or allow it to smoke as it will burn the almonds.
Rinse the Bluegill fillets and pat them dry. Season the fillets lightly with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place the almonds, eggs, and flour in three separate bowls. Begin by dredging the fillets in the flour and then into the egg and lastly coat them in the slivered almonds. Gently place them into the oil one by one.
Cook over medium high heat until the almonds begin to take on a golden color. Pay close attention to the cooking process as you do not want to burn the almond crust. Turn the fillets once and cook on the other side until golden. Approximately 2-3 minutes each side or to an internal temperature of 135 degrees F.
Transfer the fillets to a paper towel and lightly pat dry the excess oil.
Remove the pineapple butter form the freezer and slice off a piece about inch thick.
CHEF NOTE - You may also bake the fillets in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for approximately 15-20 minutes or until reaching an internal temperature of 135 degrees F.
Place the fillets (2 per serving) onto a heated dinner plate and top with the slice of pineapple butter. The butter will begin to melt so serve immediately. Serve with your favorite sides.