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Blackened Fish Filets

Blackened Fish Filets

Blackened fish filets is the most basic of blackening as a cooking method, and this recipe is about as simple as you can get. This recipe can be adapted to blackening any meat. Blackening has many variations, but the concept is to coat your fish, meat, or even vegetables in melted butter (or oil) first, then season on both sides before placing in the hot pan to cook. By carefully flipping frequently during cooking, the fish or meat develops a crust, but doesn’t burn. A cast iron skillet works the best since you can get it hotter than a non-cast iron skillet. If you don’t use a cast iron skillet, you may not get the classic blackened crust, but cook over medium high heat and be careful either way since the butter or oil can smoke and set off your smoke alarms. Cooking outside if you can, solves that problem.

Makes 4 servings

2-3 Tablespoons Blackening Seasoning
½ stick unsalted butter (melted), or Canola oil.
4 fish filets about 6-8 ounces each. You can use any fish like Tilapia and halibut, but snapper, redfish, catfish, salmon, shark and other firm fish work best. Filets about ½” thick work the best. Bring to room temperature before cooking.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it is very hot, which is about 600°F. This is why you either need a good stove venting system or cook outdoors since your pan will most likely smoke while cooking. You can cook at a lower temperature but your crusting may not be as pronounced.

Pat any water off the fish with a paper towel. Brush both sides of each filet with the melted butter or oil. Sprinkle some Blackening Seasoning on both sides of the fish. Don’t sprinkle too much since the seasoning compliments the fish, not overpowers it.

Carefully place the filets in the hot skillet. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes, flipping frequently to keep from burning, but allowing a nice crust to develop. When the fish starts to flake, check for doneness. Serve immediately when done. If you have to use the pan for more filets, carefully wipe the pan out first to remove any burned remnants.

Serve with a rice pilaf, sauteed vegetables, or Red Beans and Rice if you want to keep your meal more authentic to the original blackened recipes.