Pomegranate Supermarket has been running a cooking demo series called Cooking with Class. Their guest Chef, this past Monday, was award winning cookbook author Susie Fishbein. In a friendly and entertaining manner, she demonstrated three fish dishes.
- Miso Glazed Cod
- Blackened Tilapia or Red Snapper
- Sole en Papillote
She explained how to ensure that the fish, whether filleted or whole, is absolutely fresh as that would guarantee a non fish smelling or fish tasting dish. After each dish was done (and all three were done in minutes!), samples were given out for the audience to savor. Those of you who have been following these pages for a while, know that I’m not a fish fan (until just over a year ago I’d always refused to get near a fish dish). On Monday, like the rest of the audience, I savored these delicious finned creatures… because they neither smelled nor tasted fishy!
Of the dishes demonstrated, my favorite was the second one and Mrs. Fishbein graciously agreed to share the recipe.
Blackened Tilapia or Red Snapper
This dish is an authentic Cajun, mouth-on-fire delicacy. Blackened refers to the spices, not the lack of cooking prowess. If you are worried about the heat, only coat one side of the fish with the spice mixture, although it will still be hot. I like to make a batch of the spices and keep them in a baby food jar so that dinner preparation on this dish (it’s also great on thinly pounded chicken breast) is a snap. If you have a cast iron skillet, it is the way to go. If not, use a nonstick frying pan and get it very hot as well. Warn your guests, pour a big pitcher of ice water and enjoy!
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 4 (6 ozs) tilapia or red snapper fillets
- 4 medium fresh tomatoes, each cut in half, trimmed tops so they seat flat
- sour cream
- Spray a large frying pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet with nonstick cooking spray. In a flat plate combine the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, white pepper, paprika, thyme, oregano and basil. Mix well.
- Dredge each fillet in the melted butter, then coat with the spice mixture in one or both sides. reserve the melted butter.
- If using a cast-iron skillet, get it very hot. If not, heat the frying pan over medium -high heat until very hot but not smoking.
- Carefully place the fillets in the skillet and sear about 3-5 minutes or until blackened. Pour 1 tablespoon of reserved melted butter on each fillet. Flip the fish over and pour 1 tablespoon of of melted butter over each fillet and blacken the other side, about 2-3 minutes. If you only spiced one side the second side won’t get black, just cook the fish through until it’s done. Remove fish to dinner plates.
- Brush the tomato halves with the melted butter and sprinkle with oregano. sear the tomatoes in the frying pan about 3 minutes or until soft. Flip the other side and cook 1-2 minutes longer.
- Serve each fillet with a big dollop of sour cream and two tomato halves.
Yield: 4 servings
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!
Mrs. Fishbein will be back at Pomegranate on Tuesday, March 8, to demonstrate how to cook Grouper and Mahi Mahi and again on Monday, March 14 to demo her techniques for Halibut. Can’t wait to learn from her!