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Got some blackened fish questions

WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
edited 10:54PM in EggHead Forum
Never done it before but am interested in giving it a try....my question is, is "blackened fish" a statement based on using a blackening seasoning, or is it based on charring the fish in a cast iron pan ( more of a technique/method ) ? The reason I ask is that I really don't want to put my cast iron skillet in the egg and ruin the season on the pan. I was hoping it would be more of a blackening seasoning so I could just do a high heat sear/char with the proper seasoning applied to the fish. If this is the case what brands of blackening seasoning would you recommend.

Comments

  • Wess,

    When I blacken, I coat the fish or whatever in melted butter and season. Then it coes into the fridge till the butter solidifies. Get the pan really hot, toss in the meat and flip it after a few minutes. The pan won't be hurt. You could give it a rub with peanut or cottonseed oil first.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Frank is the one you really need to answer these questions ... his blackened red fish at the eggtoberfest was the best. but, in case he is not available today and you're ready to go i'll tell you what i know about this. use paul prudhommes "blackened redfish magic" seasoning which is available at most markets (this is also what frank was using). he told me he had his egg at 500 degrees. i'm not sure if he had a raised grate or not but that is pretty hot. i used a propane fish cooker and burned off the seasoning the first few times i tried it because most instructions tell you to get your cast iron "white hot" but this is not necessary and will burn off the seasoning. you only need to get the skillet hot enough to cook. put some olive oil on both sides of the fish and then start with a small amount of prudhommes as this is pretty strong stuff. cook until half done and then flip to the other side. i also do skinless boneless chicken breasts this way. do not do this indoors as it will leave an oder in the house for quite awhile.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    His grate was not raised and he did have a cast iron skillet in there.
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Thanks guys...would love to get some more input on this issue, but I appreciate the 2 replies so far...
  • Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Thanks, thats a good link, and pretty much what you told me to do... :) Gonna give it a try in the very near future on some catfish filets..
  • Wess - The above advice works for me. I didn't eggxactly follow PP's process at Eggtoberfest. I put the seasoning on the fish and the butter in the pan for speed but it came out fine and that is the way I have done it since then. I have tried a few different seasonings and always go back to PP's.

    If you put the butter and seasoning on the fish and then go straight to the grill, you may have a little flare up or two but no longer than the fish will be on the grill, it may work out fine. I did this once but not straight to the grill - Used a "holey wok".

    Good luck with it
  • JLOCKHART29JLOCKHART29 Posts: 5,897
    To me its alittle of both. It ould work w/o cast but afraid you wold not get the color and blackening as cast. Hear is link to one I did.
    http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=522014&catid=1
  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
    Done a modified Prudhomme thing multiple times with catfish, talapia, and others, and it works pretty well. I use a cast iron skillet (handle removed) at about 500+ degrees dome but, since its direct, that is more of a guideline than anything else, and I've had no problem with the seasoning on the iron so far.

    I'd disagree with one of the replies that suggests putting the butter on the pan rather than the fish - it would immediately burn off at that temp and not provide any flavor to the fish.

    Also, I've usually buttered and seasoned the fish all at one time but found that the butter cools and tends to stick to the plate or whatever its on and, when you lift it off, it can come off the fish - including the seasoning. I'd recommend either using a quick-release aluminum foil or similar surface if you aren't going to put the fish immediately on the pan.

    I'm told that cooking the bone side first (skin side second) will reduce cupping of the fish.

    Good luck - its really easy and tasted great.
  • GandolfGandolf Posts: 882
    It is a seasoning process. YB gave me a GREAT seasoning/rub recipe. Try it you'll like it.

    BLACKENED CATFISH (CAJUN STYLE)
    Printed from COOKS.COM



    Cook outdoors: 1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted.

    SEASONING MIX:

    3/4 tsp. white pepper
    1/2 tsp. thyme
    1 tbsp. paprika
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp. onion powder
    3/4 tsp. black pepper
    1/2 tsp. oregano
    2 1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. red pepper (cayenne)

    Preheat cast iron skillet on outdoor-cooker at least 10 minutes, until a white ash forms in skillet bottom. Thoroughly combine seasoning mix in a small bowl. Dip fillets in melted butter so that both sides are well coated. Then sprinkle seasoning mix generously and evenly on both sides of fillets, putting it in by hand.
    Place in hot skillet and add 1 tablespoon of butter over the top of fillets. (Caution - butter will flame.) Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until charred. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

    Serves 6.
  • I asked this same question to Paul Prudhomme, while dining at K-Pauls in the frech quarter.

    His answer is it's both. To get real blackened fish you must burn it. The seasonings you put on it will taste totally different if they are scorched. I've tried both ways, with and with out the skillet, and I prefer the skillet. I have a skillet dedicated to blackening. If you are worried about your seasoned one don't use it. It will ruin the seasoning.

    It is so worth it though. Unbelievable layer of flavors and textures.

    Grilled

    4-5-08002.jpg

    Blackened

    4-5-08004.jpg
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    I've got a CI griddle that I rarely use..I could handle looseing the season on that..I hope to be able to do a side by side comparison with the CI and YB's method which is very similar to one that was e mailed to me..might just blend the 2 together..if I can get it done tomorrow I will post my results...
  • I can hear em sizzling Mike - looks great.
  • I bet you are going to be pleased whatever way you go.

    I'm cutting back on the butter and using olive oil for a while and it will be good.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    f803da48.jpg

    Flirting with fire, and Mike are pretty much spot on. Mrs ~t~ likes blackened stuff, I don't care for it, plus I'm still mad that a recipe had such an effect on the redfish population and regulations.....

    Anyway, it's been about 15 years since a visit to the kitchen, take note of the prices back then. You do need a hot skillet and 1/4 sticks of butter on hand. (or in hand, heheee.) I've helped out at oilfield shindigs and the skillets are heated on a fish fryer, but we used a weed burner from above to get them right.

    You might as well try a fillet, some fish and a chop...Let us know how you like it.
    Happy Trails
    ~thirdeye~

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    Well, we made 2 cooks for lunch today..the CI version, at 2 minutes a side may have been to long...the direct on the grid came out better...hotter dome temp, obviously, and shortened the second 2 minutes to 1 and a half....took pics and hope to get them on the website soon..gonna take some tweakin to decide which we like best...both were very good...Thanks for all of the input
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