Blackened Redfish

Paul Prudhomme put this "Cajun" classic—a filet of fish dredged in a flurry of spices and seared in butter—on the culinary map.Christopher Hirsheimer

This recipe is based on one in Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen (Morrow Cookbooks, 1984). Redfish (also known as red drum) is often farm-raised these days. It tends to be fatter and smaller than the wild-caught variety. Black drum makes a great substitute.

Get seasonal recipes, methods and techniques sent right to your inbox—sign up here to receive Saveur newsletters. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram at @SaveurMag.

Equipment

Blackened Redfish
Paul Prudhomme put this "Cajun" classic—a filet of fish dredged in a flurry of spices and seared in butter—on the culinary map.
Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 12 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 34 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 34 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 12 tsp. dried thyme
  • 12 tsp. dried oregano
  • 12 oz. butter, melted
  • 6 oz. (8-oz.) 1/2-inch–thick filets skinless, boneless red drum, black drum, or red snapper

Instructions

  1. Combine paprika, salt, onion and garlic powders, cayenne, black and white pepper, thyme, and oregano in a small bowl and set aside. Put 2 tbsp. of the butter into each of six small ramekins; set aside and keep warm. Put remaining butter into a wide, shallow dish. Dip each filet in butter and place on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Dust each filet generously on both sides with spice mixture, pressing spices and herbs into fish with your hands. Pour remaining butter into a small bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°. Turn on ventilation system and open windows. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until white and ashy, 8-10 minutes. Carefully place 2-3 filets in pan. Stand back to avoid smoke and pour 1 tsp. of the remaining butter over each filet. Cook until bottom of each filet appears charred, about 2 minutes. Turn filets over and pour 1 tsp. butter over each. Continue cooking until fish is cooked through (time will vary according to heat of pan). Transfer to a sheet tray on a rack and keep warm in oven. Repeat cooking process with remaining fish and butter. Serve with reserved warm melted butter.