Guest Author - Sandie Jarrett
Love fish, but hate cooking it indoors? Cook traditional Cajun Blackened Redfish outdoors in a cast iron skillet or grill plate atop a gas grill. Better yet, pull out the propane burner from your turkey deep fryer and use that for your heat source.
This recipe, inspired by Paul Prudhomme’s classic Blackened Redfish recipe, is not hard to make if you read all of the instructions carefully and have everything ready before you begin cooking.
1/2 pound plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (2-1/2 sticks)
6 fish fillets, 6 – 8 oz. each and cut 1/2 inch thick
7 tablespoons Blackened Fish Seasoning Blend(see link to recipe below) or use Chef Paul’s Blackened Redfish Magic
Bring the fish up to room temperature before cooking. Prepare the seasoning blend. Melt the butter in a skillet. Keep warm and melted. Place serving platter or plates in a 250°F oven. Put 6 tablespoons of the melted butter in an oven proof dish or bowl and put in the oven with the serving platter to drizzle over the fish just before serving.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over very high heat until it is very hot – and almost forming ash in the skillet bottom, about 6 - 9 minutes.
Dip the first piece of fish in the skillet of warm, melted butter, coating both sides. Set the fish down on a clean service (plastic wrap, plate). Sprinkle evenly with seasoning mix on both sides. Immediately place fish in the hot skillet. Pour 1 teaspoon butter on top of the fish. Cook until the underside forms a nice crust, about 2 minutes. Turn the fish over and pour about 1 teaspoon of butter on top. Cook about 2 more minutes, or until done. The fish should be white and flaky inside. Transfer the cooked piece of fish to the platter in the oven. Wipe the skillet with a clean cotton cloth (old dish towel works great) taking care as the skillet will be very hot!
If the skillet becomes too crusty or hard to wipe out, scrape the skillet with a spatula and then turn it over on top of the flame to burn out the crusty bits. Wipe the skillet out with a cloth. Again, be careful when handling the skillet as it is very hot.
Return skillet to heat source and repeat the process for each fillet. Prepare and cook one fillet at a time. Wipe down and dry the surface you put the fish on for seasoning (or use clean plastic wrap).
To plate, place a fillet, crustier side up on a warm plate and drizzle with melted butter. To serve on a platter, arrange the fillets in a single layer (crust will become soggy if you stack the fish fillets). Serve immediately, with melted butter (for drizzling) in a dish on the side.
Any firm fleshed fish will work well in this recipe. The original recipe called for Redfish, but red snapper, salmon or tuna steaks, tilefish, etc. as long as the fillets or steaks are cut 1/2 inch thick.
Always remember that the skillet is very hot so use protective mitts or heatproof chef’s gloves.
When you pour the melted butter on the cooking fish, the butter could flame up so be careful.
Only cook 1 piece of fish at a time and for best results, season each piece right before popping it into the skillet.