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February 10th, 2008

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Cajun Blackened Bluefish
From the kitchen of Rick Kelley (Stickman), Holyoke, MA

I don't have any pictures to share for this recipe, but it is easy to do and tastes great with rice or hush puppies and lots of cold beer to wash it down. The key to cajun blackening is to sear the spices onto the outside of the meat, not to char it. The actual cooking is done in an oven. By searing the spices onto the outside of the piece of meat you make sure they stay where put, instead of being washed off by the juices the meat exudes when cooking, and ending up in the bottom of the roasting pan where they flavor nothing at all.

Begin by making up the spice mixture. I use whole spices when possible, and grind them all together in a coffee grinder. The following mixture makes about a half a cup and will treat up to 3 pounds of meat. I like it best with chicken, pork chops and any oily fish; Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Tuna, Catfish, Bluefish, etc. If you don't use all of it, store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid in a cool, dark place.


    1 Tbs. Spanish Paprika

    2-1/2 tsp. salt

    1 tsp. onion powder

    1 tsp. garlic powder

    1 tsp. cayenne pepper

    3/4 tsp. black pepper

    3/4 tsp. white pepper

    1/2 tsp. oregano

    1/2 tsp. thyme

    1/4 tsp. sage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. As oven is preheating, place a large cast iron skillet on the range over high heat until it begins to smoke. Sprinkle the blackening spices onto one side of the filets. Toss a pat of butter into the skillet and swirl it around with a spatula until melted and immediately place the filet treated side down in the skillet. If the skillet is hot enough it should only take about 10 or 15 seconds to sear the spices onto the outside of the meat. While searing the underside of the meat, sprinkle more of the blackening spices onto the top side of the piece of meat. When seared, flip the piece of meat over in the skillet and sear the other side. Place the seared piece of meat onto a broiling tray that has been lightly sprayed with no stick cooking spray. Repeat until all the pieces of meat to be cooked are seared. Bake until done. Fish should be opaque and flake easily. You should probably use a meat thermometer to make sure that chicken or pork are done enough.

Lassez le bon ton roulez! ~ Rick Kelley (aka Stickman)

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