Sunday was one of those rare days when all of the BW clan got together for good times and great food!
My first thought was to have fried fish, since I am the family catcher, cleaner, and cooker of said fish. However, with all the fast-food some of us eat these days, I thought I might go a little more healthful.
Baked fish is just boring. Grilling is okay, but all I had were fillets in the freezer–no reds on the half shell for the grill. My fishing trip the day before wasn’t productive, so into the freezer for the fish.
This recipe was already tried on customers at Camp Dularge. It was so easy and results so perfect and delicious, that it was a foregone conclusion: I would make blackened trout and red fish for my hungry gang.
Along with that, I put together a fresh salad, copied from a menu item at a Houma fine-dining restaurant that Dotter told me about and oven-roasted red potatoes.
Fresh heart of romaine lettuce, rinsed, chilled again, and cut into bite-size pieces.
Top that with fresh-fried, crispy bacon pieces (not too many), fresh sliced avocado, grape tomatoes, and a nice (not-so-healthful) buttermilk “ranch” style dressing, and cracked pepper.
Red potatoes with rosemary and garlic:
The side dish was oven-roasted new red potatoes, quartered. First, I let them sit in a sink of hot water while I do other things. Next I scrub them well, so we can leave the skin on. Then I quartered them, length-ways. Termite tossed them in a covered Tupperware bowl with olive oil and cracked black pepper.
Transfer the potatoes to a glass baking dish. Then I minced fresh rosemary and fresh garlic and sprinkled over the top, and then some salt. Bake those in a 350 degree oven for about half an hour. The garlic got a little too brown, so next time, I will add the garlic halfway through the baking process. The last five minutes, we covered the dish with foil to keep the garlic from burning. The potatoes were delicious.
The blackened fish:
Heat either a black cast iron skillet or griddle to high heat. If you need to, wipe the surface down with olive oil first to prevent sticking and to keep butter from burning. Remember, this is a quick-sear process since fillets are typically pretty thin.
Dredge the fillets in the butter, both sides, and then lay on another platter. Generously sprinkle one side of the fish with Louisiana Fish Fry Cajun Blackened Seasoning.
Quickly put the fish, seasoned side down on the griddle, and then season the top side. Sear each side only about a minute and a half. There will be some smoke, so be sure your vent is on high.
(You control the “spice” of the fish with the amount of seasoning you use. If you like more spice, just lay the seasoning on thick!)
Flip fish to the second side and have your serving plates ready. At this point, it’s nice to have an assistant handing you plates so that you can serve the sizzling fish directly onto each individual plate. I served the bigger trout fillets onto each plate first.
- gallon Fish fillets I used a freezer bag full
- 2 sticks butter
- Blackened Fish seasoning
Slowly melt the butter (do not burn) and pour into glass baking dish.
Heat either a black cast iron skillet or griddle to high heat. If you need to, wipe the surface down with olive oil first to prevent sticking and to keep butter from burning.
Remember, this is a quick-sear process since fillets are typically pretty thin.
Dredge the fillets in the butter on both sides.
Lay on another platter
Generously sprinkle one side of the fish with seasoning (I like Louisiana Fish Fry Cajun Blackened Seasoning).
Quickly put the fish, seasoned side down on the griddle, and then season the top side.
Sear each side only about a minute and a half.
There will be some smoke, so be sure your vent is on high.
Flip fish to the second side and have your serving plates ready.
At this point, it's nice to have an assistant handing you plates so that you can serve the sizzling fish directly onto each individual plate.
With the individual salads already on the table, each person grabbed a plate as it came from the stove, spooned on the hot potatoes, grabbed their warm, buttered French bread, and chowed down bayou style. While everyone was eating, I cooked the small red fish pieces and served them to the table as they were done.
And talk about delicious, cher!
All told, I cooked a gallon-sized freezer bag full of trout and another of reds, and there were only a couple small pieces of fish left over.
After supper, our bellies full, we piled into the living room and watched the DVD my son-in-law had made for us of the Planet Green documentary: “Stories from the Gulf – Living with the Oil Disaster”.
The documentary was well done, and I particularly like that it was not narrated throughout. Rather, as you watched images from the spill, its affects on the lives of the people talking, you heard their heartfelt stories and testimonies. Very compelling.
At the end, a female voice said this,
“I’ve realized how precarious our lives are here on the Gulf Coast. We have to look at what we have; we have to appreciate what we have. We have to respect the bounty. We have to conserve it–all the while enjoying it, because something like a failed blowout preventer could change all of that in an instant. Poof! It could just be gone.“
It was a wonderful family evening down the bayou, and I’m so very thankful that we still have fish to eat, and money to buy the side dishes, and that my adult children still want to come down and hang out. And in case you were wondering, of the three that are grown and gone, none of them currently reside on the bayou. So their visits are very special and something I want to savor long after they are gone.
Now, go cook some blackened fish!