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Blackened - questions & thoughts...

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I've always loved blackened seafood (fish, scallops, shrimp). But I have a few questions and observations I thought I'd post here and get feedback from some of the experts on the forum.


First - what seasoning do folks like? I saw Tom's post with his recipe, and copied that one down. I've tried several, and none are all that spectacular; but I definitely prefer the dry rubs to a marinade. Currently using Louisiana Blackened Fish Seasoning, and it is Ok. Also tried Paul P's, Chef Han, etc. Best one I've had is something I picked up at the Navy Commisary one time several years ago, wish I'd written down the name.


Next - what do folks like to prep the fish? Typically I'll coat w/ butter or olive oil, to make the rub stick nicely, ensure a good sear, and to keep the fish from sticking as badly.


Cookware - really heavy pan, really hot is my method. It stinks up the house for a good 2 days no matter how you ventilate, so I started using cast iron or my good Calphalon outside on the grill. Always get that Metallica song 'Blackened' stuck in my head when I first thow the food into the pan and it starts sizzling away -- '...blackened is the end...'


Cooking - Typically 2-4 min per side, and flip. I tend to drip a little fresh lemon juice on the fish if it starts to dry out too much, but usually not needed.


Serving - my favorite restaurant in VB used to serve up a blackened piece of fresh fish over top a mound of garlic smashed potatoes, topped w/ crawfish etouffe. Wow, that was one of my favorite seafood dishes of all times. Also had several versions served on redbeans & rice (or black beans). sometimes I'll put a sweet salsa with it (maybe make up a pineapple or mango salsa - whatever is fresh at the store). Love a little fresh lime or lemon on top, maybe make a sandwich, etc. not a big fan of cream sauces for blackened food, mellows out the flavor instead of contrasting it...


Other ideas - great way to prepare chicken breast or pork chops as well. When I was bartending in college, our chef convinced me to try blackened filet mingon - now one of my absolute favorites is to blacken a really good thick steak... Finally, chicken wings pieces on the grill absolutely rock (throw them on frozen to keep moist), blackened seasoning is awesome on them, but don't add until they're 2/3 cooked.


And of course you need a couple good beers to serve with it... cheers.

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