Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Blackened Salmon with Italian Limas and Rice
We recently had a delicious salmon dinner. I bought some salmon filets just big enough for two people when they were on sale, and have been exploring different ways of cooking them. Dear daughter loves all things spicy - she enjoys her food far hotter than even I do - so I thought maybe we could blacken the salmon. That was my plan all day at work, but when I got home, there was no blackened seasoning to be found in my pantry, so I made my own.
The smell of the salmon cooking reminded dd and I of our trips to Cajun country in Louisiana, especially a little restaurant in Breaux Bridge where we did the Cajun two-step together. That was the trip we made to attend the Acadian Reunion with my parents and my Dad's brother, Len and his family. My Dad's family are Acadians (the French Canadians who, through the Grand Derangement, were removed from their lands in the Maritime provinces and dispersed by the British throughout the east coast - many ended up in the bayous of Louisiana, eventually becoming known as the "Cajuns"). For those who are interested, we are Babineaus, dit Deslauriers, and our family shares its reunion with the Grangers. Anyway, at that little restaurant, I ordered the blackened redfish made so famous by Paul Prudhomme. My salmon version was good, but still couldn't hold a candle to what we ate in Louisiana. C'est la vie, eh?
I didn't know what to serve with the highly spiced fish, so I went with white rice with lots of butter and steamed baby limas dressed with a good dollop of sun dried tomato pesto from a jar. This was a delicious dinner which was ready in about 25 minutes, and most of that time was waiting for the rice to cook. The fish and the limas took about 10 minutes....maybe 12.
Bon Appetit, mon petit chou!
Blackened Seasoning (enough for two portions)
1 heaping Tbs paprika
2 tsp cayenne
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 portions salmon filets
Rinse the filets well and pat dry. Brush with a little oil, then rub all the seasoning into both sides of the fish. Get a heavy, cast iron skillet smoking hot, pour a little oil on the bottom and then gently place the fish into the hot pan, skin side up. Cook uncovered for about 2 minutes - it will smoke and blacken, but will not burn. Turn the fish over and lower the heat a little and let cook about 3 - 4 minutes more, until it is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
PS: Mon petit chou is a colloquial endearment, one which my uncle calls his wife all the time. It basically means "my little one" and is much sweeter than MY nickname as a child which was "Grosse Fesse". You figure it out. Alas, it is as true now as it was then....