Blackened Fish – Trout and Reds

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.

First, the salad:

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:

Thaw the fish fillets–in this case, speckled trout and red fish.

Slowly melt a couple sticks of 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, 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.

These are Red fish fillets, cut into smaller pieces for quick searing

(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.

Blackened Fish – Trout and Reds

  • gallon Fish fillets (I used a freezer bag full)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • Blackened Fish seasoning
  1. Slowly melt the butter (do not burn) and pour into glass baking dish.
  2. 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.
  3. Remember, this is a quick-sear process since fillets are typically pretty thin.
  4. Dredge the fillets in the butter on both sides.
  5. Lay on another platter
  6. Generously sprinkle one side of the fish with seasoning (I like Louisiana Fish Fry Cajun Blackened Seasoning).
  7. Quickly put the fish, seasoned side down on the griddle, and then season the top side.
  8. Sear each side only about a minute and a half.
  9. There will be some smoke, so be sure your vent is on high.
  10. Flip fish to the second side and have your serving plates ready.
  11. 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!

To drink, we had homemade Community Iced Tea, served in this beautiful pitcher sent from Shoreacres in a generous care package last year.  She is the author of “The Task at Hand”.  Thank you, Linda.

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!


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  1. Years ago, Mary and I were up north in New Jersey during an early national “Cajun Food Craze”
    We were going to have a romantic dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Delaware River. But when we saw “Black and Red Fish” on the menu, we decided to move on

  2. Your food posts are as good as always BW! I’m glad I’m in the right place as I read this to go out and quench a craving.

    LOL Don! Great story! 🙂

    1. Oh, Sue, it WAS delicious! I almost failed to get a pic of my plate. Had already a piece of my fish when I realized I had not taken a pic of the finished product. Once I get that heat going, I have to work fast searing the fish and there’s just no time for pics while I’m at the griddle!

  3. The first time I ever had blackened fish it was at Copeland’s of N.O. Restaurant , but it wasn’t Redfish, it was Catfish. It was VERY good too. A few years go by and I decide to do some Redfish myself. Unlike you BW, I DO NOT recommend cooking them indoors. I did just like those chefs said to do…got the cast iron skillet sooo hot it was almost white, put the fillets in and set off every smoke alarm within 1/4 mile of my kitchen. My stove’s exhaust fan didn’t do the job. I’ll only do them outside now.
    I’m glad to hear y’all were all able to break bread together on Easter Sunday.

    1. Well, I managed to get it done, but the truth is, I guess my fish aren’t really “blackened”—they’re just seared in those savory spices and butter. Some of them got darker than others around the edges, but they were all still very delicious. Also, it is advisable to leave the skin on for blackening . . . which I don’t typically do when I’m filleting fish for the freezer. Next time, I will leave the skin on some trout just for this purpose and will mark the freezer bag accordingly.

      I hope you were with your kids, too!

      1. It was a good day, but could have been better if ALL the family had been here. My daughter (the N.I.C. nurse) had to work and my eldest son and family were at the in-laws. We did get to see those 4 though at church. We were toghether just long enough afterward for Memaw to give those 2 grandchildren some chocolate (the other 6 had to wait for theirs) and to get my OOs & XXs!

  4. You fixed one of my favorite meals! Now, even though I ate a hearty bowl of clam chowder earlier, I am hungry for blackened fish!

    I did exactly what Steffi did the first time I fixed them. I had fans on in nearly every room and the windows open for an hour or more trying to get the smoke out of the house. Unfortunately, I don’t have a vent-a-hood but, sure wish I did.

    Next time you fix those new, red potatoes, try adding a package of Italian style dressing powder to the olive oil and give them a good shake and then bake. It is so very good and even better if you add them to the grill/smoker in a foil package.

    We have set the date for our crawfish boil. This coming weekend we will be fixing 30 lbs along with hotdogs, hamburgers and smoked sausages for the non-mudbug lovers.

    1. Thanks for the potato recipe idea.

      I hope you have a fabulous crawfish boil and time with family. Throw the smoked sausage in the pot with the crawfish! Some families boil hot dogs with their crawfish, too! Do you boil corn, potatoes, and mushrooms as well?

        1. Yep, all of those are going in along with some lemon halves. My son is bringing some smoked sausage, I have about 5 lbs of small, red potatos, 3 lbs of onions and will pick up the “shrooms and corn cobettes Friday along with some extra hot dogs. I also have a head of elephant garlic that is HUGE.

          I would boil the hot dogs but, some of the kids and my son in law can’t even stand the smell of crawfish. Poor guys. Don’t know what is good do they? While the grill is hot, I’ll put some stuffed jalepenos on it for the ones who like those too along with the hamburgers.

          1. All I can say is you are a good Grandma and that is gonna be a lot of food!!! The Captain told me, long time ago when I first came down here and sat in on a boil, that they added all the extras for the “white people” like me to eat so they could have more crawfish. Now, that was hilarious! And there I was, loading up on potatoes, crackers and dip, and the corn.

            Oh, and do y’all make the side dip for the potatoes, crackers, and whatever else you want to dip in it? There is a recipe here somewhere!

          1. Onions first…of course!!

            I haven’t made the dip. Will have to try to find it before I head for the grocery store again Friday.

            I guess I would never have been considered one of the “white people”. I’ve loved crawfish tails since I was about 7 or 8 yrs old. We fished them out of the holes with thick baling twine and a piece of salt bacon. Then, my brother and I would take them to mom and she would wash them and thread them onto sticks or forks for us to roast over the burner or outdoor fire.
            I just remembered, there are a couple of really good spots between my house and moms that we seined for crawfish whenever it came a good rain. We got dozens of those things and used them for trotline bait.

            1. I found the dip and wrote down the ingredients since there is no amounts listed. I guess it is a “taste and adjust” recipe. Sounds good.

              1. Yes, Cammy, it is a taste and adjust. I start with a couple big spoonfuls of mayo. Then add the ketchup to make the color you see. Then a nice squeeze of yellow mustard, about a T. of Worcestershire, and then a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or Tony’s (optional) or a dash of liquid hot sauce. Sometimes, though, the crawfish are hot enough and the dip sort of cools things down for a second!! Just’ don’t use Miracle Whip–makes the dip too sweet combined with the ketchup. It tastes good on everything except the corn LOL! Enjoy!

      1. The crawfish boil we went to on Good Friday had celery and carrots thrown into the boil… the celery was delicious!

  5. Oh, my gosh! How fun that I got to be at your dinner, too! Love that you used the pitcher, and I’m just drooling over those pics. That’s pretty much my standard salad, but I believe I’ll try and get the potatoes past my mom.

    She doesn’t like fish in any form, so I’ll just have to do me some fish at home. I’m having lunch today at Abe’s Cajun market and grill in Clear Lake. I can’t remember the whole story, but their food’s so good because the roots are in Louisiana. I think Dad still runs a restaurant in Lafayette and two or three brothers (including Abe) have opened Cajun grills elsewhere. Now I’m really ready to go!

  6. I filleted about 50 crappie tonight. Going in the peanut oil tomorrow with Andy’s Red coating. Not the Cajun version it is awful. Then I might go see about catching 40 more. Ahhh crawfish love them can’t get the meat out of tails worth a crap. Even watch you tube to get pointers.

    1. You just need to spend more time down here during crawfish season. And if you’re having that much trouble, they weren’t boiled correctly. That is the art of boiling crawfish — being able to get the tails out easily. At our house, after breaking and sucking the head, you squeeze the end of the tail, grab the meat with your front teeth, pull and OUT the meat comes in one piece. I personally don’t eat them that way because I like to remove the “vein” of mud first. TAkes longer, but makes them more edible to me. Real bayou people don’t care about a little mud with their mudbugs, though! Good job on the 50 crappie. North wind moved in, chilly temps this morning. Unbelievable. Wonder if it made the sac au lait hungry?

  7. That looks YUMMY!!! Miss me? Finally feeling like playing on the internet and of course this was the first place I went. I have a big glass of Community sweet tea right beside me. The countdown is ON at our house! We are finalizing the travel plans and just have to find somewhere to stay between there and Murfreesboro, AR on the way down. The kids are super excited and so am I.

    1. Don’t know about anybody else, but I sure missed you! Even on FB! Knew something had to be amiss! Not sure how many posts you missed, but I know you must have lots of catching up to do! Looking forward to the trip. We’ll talk before you come, though.

  8. I am thinking of taking the yak out in morning to recover and salvage lost bobbers. Some might be mine but at $1 a pop gas money gets covered quick. It will be first time out this year. Water is cold but forecast is for calm winds. Yummy crappie fillets and hush puppies tonight.

  9. We almost didn’t get to have our crawfish boil. I got a call early this am that the truck was delayed. And another one stating it was going to be even later in the day. The fishmonger called me the minute that truck got there at noon and it was still there when I pulled into the store.
    Then, the weather started getting a bit dicey and our canopys were trying to pull loose from their stakes. Wind blew out the burners on the cookers until we got a vehicle in the cooking area to block it. And I got “smoked” every time I opened the lid to the grill! The wind was swirling around and I couldn’t even see the stuff on the grill until the smoke would clear out.

    But, we manged to pull it off and fed 5 families with only a small bit of sprinkles hitting the food on the tailgate. (we ran out of tables!). I had it all in containers with see thru lids. I think I have a gallon bag of crawfish left in the fridge and my daughter took a bag home for tomorrow.

    We only lost about a dozen of the crawfish and figured it was due to the lengthy delivery this time. We are going to do our best to have this annually. But, I do need to stock up on antacidsd first.

    1. Glad you got to pull this off and it sounds like y’all had a grand feast! A dozen is not bad . . . there are always some dead ones in the sack! What gives you heartburn? LOL!!!

      1. Almost everything I eat gives me heartburn. But, the spices in the boil really get to me. I have acid reflux and have for years. I still eat almost everything I love though.

        I have even gotten my neighbors 7 year old eating crawfish now. I sent them some to try and she loved them so, I sent her the gallon bag that was left. I got a super big hug for them too.