Blackened Fish

blackened fish 1Makes 4 servings
Hands-on prep time:  20 minutes
Total preparation time:  58 minutes

1 1/2 pounds tilapia* (see Cook’s Notes below)
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Creole Spice mix, recipe follows
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tp 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Tartar Sauce, recipe follows

Cut down the seam of the fish to separate the thin and the thicker halves of the fillet. If you have time, freeze the thicker halves for 30 minutes. Cut the thicker halves in half horizontally to form 2 thin pieces.

Place the fish in a large shallow bowl and pour the milk over it. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Mix the flour, spice mix, and salt in a pie plate lined with a piece of parchment paper. Working in batches, remove the fillets from the milk and drain off the excess. Transfer to the flour mixture and, pulling up the sides of the parchment, turn to coat on both sides. Flour only as many fillets as will fit in a large skillet at one time.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the fillets and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a heatproof plate and keep in the oven while you cook the remaining fillets. Repeat the procedure with the remaining fillets, flour mix, and oil. Serve with lemon wedges.

Creole Spice Mix:

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: about 1/2 cup


Tartar Sauce: Whisk together 3/4 cup mayonnaise , 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle, 1 trimmed and chopped medium scallion, (about 2 tablespoons),1 tablespoon drained capers, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce.

Sauteed Shredded Zucc
hini with Lemon and Thyme

Makes 6 servings
2 pounds zucchini
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Additional kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim off and discard the ends of the zucchini.  Coarsely grate the zucchini using the grating disk of a food processor or the large holes of a box grater.  Toss the zucchini in the salt in a large colander.   Drain for 15 minutes.  Wrap small handfuls of the zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and gently but firmly squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is golden. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.  Add the lemon juice, lemon zest and thyme.  Cook for 1 minute longer.  Season with additional salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

Smashed Potatoes

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Hands-on time:  5 minutes
Total preparation time:  30 minutes

2 pounds small (1 1/2 inch) red potatoes, scrubbed
Kosher salt
2/3  to 1 cup milk, heated
3 – 4  tablespoons unsalted butter or to taste
Freshly milled black pepper

Combine the potatoes and salted water to cover by 1 inch in a large saucepan. Bring the water to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low and simmer the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.

Drain and return the potatoes to the saucepan. Add 1/3 cup milk and the butter; smash with a potato masher until mashed enough to hold together.  Add more milk until the desired consistency is reached.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


*Make sure to purchase tilapia raised in the United States. Do not buy tilapia from China or Taiwan, there are serious ecological issues in the way they are raised.

There are several good brands of Creole Spice Mix. One of my favorites is Zatarains, but it has a fair amount of salt in it so don’t add too much to a recipe or the dish will taste salty. You can buy it online from the Zatarains website or from Amazon.

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Thanks to

Fairway for donating all the food | Chantal for the cookware | Le Creuset for the Dutch ovens | Wustoff for the knives | Boos for the cutting boards | Kitchen Aid for the appliances | Oxo for the small kitchen tools |

7 Responses to Blackened Fish

  1. Ana Hartmann says:

    Looked and looked…can’t find the tartar sauce for season 4, #406. It’s suppose to follow…but doesn’t. Thanks!

  2. Dale Chapman says:

    in the Sauteed Shredded Zucchini with Lemon and Thyme recipe, what am I supposed to do with the sliced onion?

  3. Karen T Yon says:

    Made this blackened tilapia and the zucchini today for dinner and we loved it. I had buttery baby red potatoes instead of the mashed potatoes. This is a meal that I will be making from now on. Loved loved loved it

  4. Beck & Bulow says:

    Just wanted you to know that I’ve included your recipe in a collection of Irish foods on Simple Living and Eating. I will be pinning and tweeting it this week too and please visit: https://www.beckandbulow.com

  5. We are losing interest in cooking meals, as a semi retired couple. Expansive meals simply will not be accommodated, on a regular basis. So, we are looking for fast, tasty meals that ‘say their name’, allowing us to never feel that we’re stuck with prepared foods again ! This must be part of the ‘pickle’ many get exposed to; needing good food that won’t enslave us to the K.P. ! The season four episode with milk soaked, blackened fish and also flattened pork really looked attractive. We will try to find the Hungarian. sliding tool, for pasta nuggets – lots of fun and super fast ! We will try it !
    Thank you, Ms. Moulton ! Thanks also for the warning about the non-U.S. fish !

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