Recipe execution fail - sole in walnut crumb

I've been having a run of recipe fails this week. It's getting discouraging, I must say. Partway through prepping macarons yesterday the egg whites wouldn't whip. They just went all glossy goopy and stayed that way, no matter what I did. I can honestly say I've never seen that before. But with the oven preheated and a toddler expecting cookies any second, plus the fact that I was making the damned things to use up 8 egg whites I had leftover after making this molasses custard, I just dumped them in and hoped for the best. Bad move.
A cup of flour firmed up the batter and they're gone now of course, but I'm supposed to be on a gluten-free diet, which is why I chose to make macarons with my whites insted of something else. Gr.

Tonight I wanted to make sole in walnut crumb. I'm certain I saw something of the sort come through my inbox recently - how else would I come up with such a combination? - but was entirely unable to relocate it on demand. Again, hungry toddler, husband trying to hold down the fort, no time for mucking around. Luckily I prepped too many veggies for salad rolls last night, so I had a salad ready in about 4 seconds. Broccoli and half a leftover cauliflower rounded out the sides. Looking good.

Can somebody please tell me why I'm so incapable of breading anything? The only things that consistently get covered in the crumb coating are my fingers and fork. I read the directions; in a rare departure from habit for me, I even follow them. Never any joy. (Except for one time with onion rings that turned out picture perfect. I still don't know what I did differently.)

Listen, I'm not knocking sole in a walnut omlette; it tasted great. It just wasn't what I set out to make.

Here's roughly what I did, in case you want to try to ... not reproduce exactly, but recreate it more successfully. I did warn you that I don't 'do' recipes, so don't be asking exactly how much of this or that - use your preferences, intuition and nose.
  • Blend about a cup of walnuts into dust. Careful - they get pasty if you go too long
  • Add zest of one lemon, terragon (I had to sub sage and thyme), salt and pepper and whizz again
  • Dredge fish filets in egg then the crumb mixture, and pan fry in butter on a medium heat to get the outside crispy and the inside just flaky.
  • Serve with a sauce of quark (or yogurt cheese), mustard, whatever spice you used in the crumb coating, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
It's not at all bitter, which I was worried about with so many walnuts. As I say, rather delicious in fact. But my presentation sucked. I wish you better luck and perhaps some blinding insight that, if you shared them in this direction, might shape up my breading woes.

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