Blackened redflsh was one of the Louisiana dishes which found international favour in the mid-’80s, when Cajun food was briefly all the rage. You could use red snapper or pompano if no redfish is to hand.
The original Paul Prudhomme recipe uses a lot of butter and his seasoning mix includes onion and garlic powder. This version retains all the right flavours but is much lighter.
Remove any remaining pin bones from the fish.
In a bowl, mix together the paprika, salt, cayenne, white pepper, black pepper, thyme and oregano. Set aside.
In a small pan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and spring onions, and leave to infuse over the lowest heat for about 10 minutes. Then strain through a muslin-lined sieve into another bowl, discarding the garlic and onion.
Brush the fillets on both sides with olive oil. Scatter half the mixed seasonings in a tray, then lay the fillets on top and press down gently. Scatter the remaining mixture over the fish, press in and turn to give an even coating.
Heat a large heavy dry frying pan until it is red hot – at least 5 minutes at maximum. (Don’t do this to a non-stick pan or you will ruin it!) Lay the redfish fillets in the hot pan and dribble a teaspoonful of the flavoured butter on top of each. (Switch on the extractor or open the kitchen door as acrid black smoke will billow from the pan.) Give the fillets 2 minutes and then turn them over and cook for another 2 minutes.
Serve the fish on warmed plates with lemon quarters, spooning over the remaining flavoured butter.
© 1998 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.