Funny story: One night at a restaurant, (which, by the way, is closed now) my husband ordered the fish on the menu and asked if he could get it blackened. The waitress, thought for a second and said, “I can ask the cook to leave it on the burner a little longer to get it burned.” Needless to say, my husband changed his order to a chicken dish.
Blackening isn’t burning the meat, but coating a fish or meat with spices and searing in a very hot cast iron skillet, blackening the spices on the outside and leaving the inside of the meat tender and moist. If I had a top 10 kitchen must haves, a cast iron skillet would be one of them. It can be used for so many different things, from cornbread to steaks, and, of course, blackening fish.
You can find a variety of blackening spices at the grocery store, but I prefer to make my own so I control the salt content and other ingredients. Let’s start out making the blackening seasoning (exact measurements in recipe below):
Now that we’ve combined our spice ingredients, let’s discuss the salmon. We only eat wild caught salmon at our house, because it’s healthier and actually tastes better than farm raised salmon. If you can’t get fresh salmon, our local grocery store carries both wild and farm raised in the freezer section, so make sure to read on the packaging which kind your are getting. Season the top side only of salmon fillets with the blackening seasoning. Heat your cast iron skillet to medium high and add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to coat the skillet. Put spice side down in skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully turn over and cook on the other side for about 2 minutes (depends on the thickness and how done you like your salmon fillets). Keep in mind that you don’t want to overcook salmon or it gets really chewy and dry. Serve the salmon with a slice of lemon for each person.
If you want a side of sauteed spinach to go along with the salmon, once you take the salmon out of the skillet, add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and add 9 oz bag of baby spinach. Saute in the skillet for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze a half of lemon over before serving.
- 2 Teaspoons Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon Cumin
- ¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- Blackening Seasoning (above)
- 4 Skinless Salmon fillets
- ½ tablespoon butter
- ½ lemon
- Combine spices in a small bowl.
- Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat.
- Add butter to skillet.
- Season salmon fillets with spices on top side only.
- Put fillets spice side down in skillet at cook for about 5 minutes or until the spices are blackened evenly.
- Carefully turn over and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Serve each fillet with a slice of lemon.