When I was little cast iron skillets were all that we had at my house. I recall that cast iron was what I always had to wash. I hated trying to scour them to the point where they met my mom's inspection. At some point in my married life, I ended up with a cast iron skillet. They are perfect when you want to prepare blackened fish.
We prepare it outside on the burner of the barbecue! You want the skillet to be super hot. There is not oil in the skillet, no butter...no nothing! Just bare metal.
The recipe called for redfish or red snapper. I couldn't find either variety on Saturday so I bought Ling Cod.
6 (9 oz) redfish fillets (red snapper may be substituted)
12 bay leaves, finely crushed
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 granulated onion
1/2 granulated garlic
3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 sticks butter, melted
Dry the fish fillets and chill them in the refrigerator. Redfish is excellent for this recipe but any heavy-bodied firm fish will work fine. The important thing to remember is the size of the fillet. It cannot weigh less than 8 ounces or more than 12 ounces; otherwise it doesn't cook properly.
Place a cast iron skillet or iron Dutch oven on the burner and turn the heat up to high. A cast iron skillet/Dutch oven must be used. No other metal can take the heat. Prepare the fish outside as there is also a lot of smoke. Using a grill outdoors is ideal. The skillet should be almost white hot, hot enough to see a "flame circle" in the center. Remember the pot is bare: no oil, shortening, etc. Just bare metal.
Lay the fillets on a sheet of waxed paper. Mix all of the above ingredients (except the butter) in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mix over the fillets. Do it lightly, but distribute the mixture evenly. Then dip the fillets in the melted butter so that they are completely coated. Immediately drop them into the hot skillet or Dutch oven.
The fish will sputter and jump and sizzle and smoke, that is what it is supposed to do! It will be quick, too. In about one minute it will be time to flip the fillet over. The cooked side should be dark brown, almost charred. That's the way you want it. Cook the flip side another 40 seconds to a minute and remove the fillet from the skillet. Your blackened fish is done!
Judge the amount of time by the thickness of the fish. It may take a little longer.
This is a spicy fish. Coleslaw is a perfect accompaniment to the fish.
Don't send that cast iron skillet to the Goodwill.
Put it to good use preparing Blackened Fish!!
I am participating in Foodie Friday at Designs By Gollum. Thank you Michael for hosting us each Friday!