Blackened Fish

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

1 1/2 pounds tilapia
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Creole Spice mix, recipe follows
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 to 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 Zucchini 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.

Cook’s Notes

*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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8 Responses to Blackened Fish

  1. Wilma Doris Arduengo says:

    Loving your receipts as they have the flavors we like and can be adjusted if need be. Very good shows.

  2. Kristina Kinkade says:

    I love your show! Can’t find your new season on Cox TV in San Diego. I get older ones on Create 816.

    • moulton says:

      Try this: go http://www.saramoulton.com and click on Sara’s Weeknight Meals in the top bar. Scroll down and you will find a prompt that says “where can I find the show in my neck of the woods” click on that and it will take you to a place where you type in your zip code and your local provider (comcast, spectrum, etc) and if the show is airing in your area, the time and station will pop up. Season 10 may not roll out in San Diego for a little while so keep checking.

  3. Susan Mccormack says:

    Can this be made with chicken cutlets or tenders

  4. April says:

    Can you use a different fish if you don’t like catfish?

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