Friday, April 10, 2009

Blackened Fish

Cajun blackened catfish
Cajun blackened catfish
If you're cooking fish for Good Friday, here's a simple recipe for spicy blackened fish. You can save time by using any of the varieties of Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, or you can mix together your own Cajun blackening spice mixture using my recipe in the Note below.

There are no set amounts for this recipe - just go by how many mouths you have to feed, and how spicy you like your food.  

Warning: This recipe creates a lot of smoke when you blacken the fish, so either make sure you have a strong exhaust fan on your stove (and open your kitchen windows), or cook outside on your grill.

Raw fish fillets (white fish like catfish, flounder, whiting, cod, trout etc. work best)
Your choice of Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning, OR your homemade Cajun Spice Blend - see *Note below
(Opt) Dried Thyme or Oregano - only if you're using Slap Ya Mama instead of making your own seasoning blend
Melted butter in a shallow dish, for dipping the fish

*Note: To make your own Cajun Spice Blend, combine 1/2 cup paprika, 2 Tbs salt, 1/4 cup garlic powder, 1/4 cup black pepper, 1/4 cup cayenne pepper, and 2 Tbs dried oregano or thyme in a small bowl, mix well and store in a tightly closed container until ready to use. This makes plenty and will keep just as well as other herb or spice seasoning blends

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat or on your grill for 5 to 10 minutes, until very hot. Dip each raw fish fillet in the melted butter, remove and then sprinkle each side with Slap Ya Mama Seasoning and oregano, OR with your homemade Cajun Spice Blend. Carefully place each fillet in the hot skillet and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. Note: It's very important that the skillet is very hot, so that the fish will sear and blacken, instead of sticking to the skillet.

Note: Thinner fish fillets like trout will finish cooking in 2 to 3 minutes total. Otherwise, for thicker fish fillets, first sear the fish per above and then place the entire cast iron skillet in a 350°F preheated oven and bake until done (i.e., fish flakes easily).

Serve with lemon wedges, tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. Another excellent condiment for blackened fish is Tobago Keys Coral Ridge Seafood Dipping Sauce, a creamy and lightly tangy, peppery mayonnaise based sauce with a fun tropical (but not fruity or sweet) twist.

Zestfully yours,

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