Blackened Fish Recipe With Bacon Raspberry Glaze
The following blackened fish recipe is a great way to prepare your fish filets. The blackening technique, used in this recipe, is credited to chef Paul Prudhomme of New Orleans and has since been adapted for use with several kinds of meats and poultry, but fish are delicious when prepared with this process.
The following instructions can be modified to your personal taste. Blackened fish seasoning is even sold commercially to simplify the process. I like to create my own blackened seasoning, but have used commercially available seasonings with great results. You can even purchase fresh or frozen fillets at the supermarket, but of course preparing fish you caught yourself always seem to taste just a little better. This particular dinner was some Redfish fillets Me and some friends managed to catch on a tough and cold January trip to South Texas near Padre Island. Big crappie, catfish, and any fish that is thick enough, maybe an inch thick, to withstand the process will do.
- 4 catfish filets
- olive oil
- 1/3 lb. bacon
BLACKENED FISH SEASONING
2 Tablespoons of each of the following
- garlic powder
- white pepper
- black pepper
- cayenne pepper
- lemon pepper
- chili powder
- rosemary, crushed
- fennel seed, crushed
1 teaspoon each of the following:
- teaspoon oregano
- teaspoon salt
PREPARING THE FILETS
Cut your fillets into sections that will fit in your skillet and will be easy to turn. Rinse your fillets and pat dry with a paper towel. Using another paper towel or a brush completely cover the fillets with a light coat of olive oil. Apply the spice rub, liberally coating the entire fillet. The spices adhere nicely to the oil and will stay put while your fillet is cooking. You can use any firm fish fillet for this recipe.
MIXING THE SPICES
This is the fun part of any blackening recipe. You can mix the ingredients listed or make your own. The blackening process is obviously a spicy dish, therefore many people mistakenly think it has to be spicy hot. This spice rub is a little hot, but you can leave out ingredients such as cayenne pepper or chili powder. When my wife is dining with me the cayenne pepper is either left out all together or I mix it in after I coat her fillets because it seems she can detect a single speck of cayenne pepper if it’s on her fish. Keep that in mind and everyone can enjoy this recipe.
PREPARING THE SKILLET
The first time I saw the blackening process was in Alaska and it was used on some fresh Coho fillets. I watched a black cast iron skillet sit on a flame outside for a good five minutes before my friend plopped the fillet into the hot skillet. The spicy smoke rose into the cool night air smacking me in the face, leaving me gasping and my eyes watering. I loudly voiced my concern of the edibility of the salmon as I staggered back away from the inferno. Then when the fillet was turned the smoke came again and when it finally cleared, there was a perfectly burnt hunk of salmon I had caught on a streamer and a 6 wt. fly rod that morning. That was the best salmon I ever ate and I was sold on the blackening process forever.
My friend prepared the salmon to perfection and the trick to a moist fillet is hot and fast, no more than two or three minutes per side. The hot skillet burns the spices while protecting the fillet inside, leaving a crispy spice crust on the outside and a moist flaky fillet on the inside. UM UM! If you do have a thick fillet, a minute or two more will be needed per side.
A cast iron skillet works best for blackening. It more evenly distributes the heat and stays hot longer. This is important to really blacken the rub quickly. I like to use fresh bacon grease. You can use the bacon grease leftover from preparing the glaze. I just coat the bottom before I add the fillets so be sure to wipe the skillet before adding more fillets for the second cook to remove any burned bacon grease. The bacon appetizer gained by preparing this recipe is great and my kids love to sneak up and snatch a piece when I’m not looking. I usually fry up more bacon than I need for this reason.
Keep it simple and serve your blackened fish recipe with tartar sauce, a cold drink and chips. You can also get a little fancy and serve it on a bed of rice with mixed vegetables and a glass of wine or a cold brew. Here’s the recipe for the glaze that I call Bacon Raspberry Glaze.
RASPBERRY GLAZE RECIPE
This glaze is excellent and compliments the spices in the blackened seasoning perfectly. Combine all of the ingredients listed above and stir together. Smash the fresh raspberries with a fork and add those. You could use raspberry jam to get the chunks of raspberries and the seeds. The seeds are a little bitter and helps tone down the sweetness a bit. The white vinegar does the same. I added the bacon to this recipe to balance the sweetness of the glaze.
- 5 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
- 4 Tbsp honey
- a few drops of white vinegar
- a sprinkle of your blackening seasoning
- 1 handful fresh raspberries
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