Wendi is meticulous in preparation of everything but her approach to Blackened Redfish/Trout & our all time hands down favorite Blue Catfish from the Head of The Bay is time tested. She washes the filets and pats them dry with paper towels. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and baste with melted margarine (not butter). Then sprinkle on the blackened seasoning to cover the filets flipping them over to get both sides. The reason she uses margarine is because once butter cools, it congeals and will stick to the cookie sheet removing the butter and the seasonings from the meat. Margarine doesn't congeal.
Urban Myths Dispelled
The trick to blackened fish is the cooking part. The first thing to recognize is there's a difference between blackening and burning. All this stuff about smoking hot cast iron skillets is not what your're after. We get a cast iron skillet hot but not crazy hot. We place the filets in the skillet and do not add any butter, etc. The butter on the filets is enough to do the job.
Now as the filets are cooking in the skillet, watch the edges of the fish to start turning a whiteish color and you want to see that about a half inch in width.. This, in my experience, is a good turning point and we flip the fish over and start again on the other side. Obviously the thicker part of the filet takes longer to cook. The neat thing about Blackened Fish is it's hard to over cook it. Just watch for it to want to break apart and try to get it off near that point and you'll be in good shape.
Those are some tips from the kitchen and grill here at Castaway Lodge, we hope you enjoy.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Castaway Lodge!