Blackened Salmon With Broccoli Rabe
After several consecutive weeks of too much celebrating, (just kidding) I’m trying to focus on eating healthful, clean meals. Tonight, I’m taking advantage of salmon left over from last night’s dinner and pulling together a light, Cajun-inspired dinner that’ll be ready in about twenty minutes.
Blackened fish is so easy that even my kitchen-averse spouse is able to make it. The key to the dish’s healthy flavor is not too much oil and lots of Cajun seasoning, a dynamic mix of seasonings such as salt, garlic, cayenne, chili powder, onion, and paprika. Fill up by pairing the sautéed Broccoli Rabe with some roasted potatoes.
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 20 min| Total Time: 20 min
4 6-ounce pieces skinless salmon fillet
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning or blackening spice mix
1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Coat both sides of the salmon with the seasoning and cook, covered, until opaque throughout and blackened, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, in another skillet, bring the broccoli rabe and ½ cup water to a simmer.
Cook the broccoli rabe, covered, tossing occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to a plate.
Wipe out the second skillet and heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
Mix in the raisins and broccoli rabe. Serve with the salmon and lemon.
Roasted Mexican Fish Dinner
(Picture representation only, see below for actual image)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon ancho (mild) or chipotle (hot) chile powder
salt and pepper
Chicken or Fish
4 pieces (6-8 oz each) thick whitefish fillet (such as cod or Pollock)
EVOO for liberal drizzling
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, ,thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 jalapeno chile peppers, thinly sliced
Queso fresco crumbles and a handful of cilantro leaves for garnishing
2 avocados, diced
1/2 of a ripe mango sliced in thin wedges
1 blood orange peeled and sectioned (you can sub ruby grapefruit for the orange)
1 lime, juiced
2 cups baby arugula
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees . Combine the ingredients for the spice blend (use salt and pepper to taste).
On a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish, drizzle the chicken or fish with EVOO, then rub all over with the spice blend. Top each piece with a shingled layer of the tomatoes and onion. Scatter the garlic and jalapenos on top; drizzle with more EVOO. Roast until cooked through, about 15 minutes for the fish.
Top the fish with queso fresco and cilantro. Dress the avocados with the lime juice, salt and pepper. Toss with the arugula and drizzle with EVOO. Arrange the mango in a circular pattern with the salad mix on top placing the piece of fish in the center offset just a bit. (see photo)
I made Shrimp Etouffee’ for a southern style banquet in 1986. This one is just Louisiana Shrimp recipe I have. The shrimp are great! Flavorful, tender, great! I figured what better dish to give the Shrimp a test run than the New Orleans Cuisine classic, Etouffee. Be forewarned, this dish is not for the health conscious; as a matter of fact, you may want to keep a defibrillator in the dining room. There’s butter and plenty of it!
I always buy shell on shrimp, why? For the same reason I buy bone in cuts of meat. Stock. The amount of shrimp you’re using for this recipe will produce just enough Shrimp Stock, plus a little extra (recipe below). Shrimp stock only needs to cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The Shells and tails from 1 or more pounds of Shrimp
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
1/4 Cup chopped Celery
1/4 Cup chopped Carrot
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 tsp. Black Peppercorns
Add all ingredients to a 2 qt. saucepan. Cover this with cold water, it should be about 2 – 2 1/2 Cups. You’ll need 1 1/2 Cups for the Etouffee. Bring almost to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Strain.
The Etouffee recipe:
New Orleans Cuisine’s Louisiana Shrimp Etouffee Recipe
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Creole Seasoning
4 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
3/8 Cup A.P. Flour
1/4 Cup Onion, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Celery, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
2 tbsp. Minced Garlic
1 1/2 Cups Shrimp Stock
2 tsp. Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Hot Sauce (I like Crystal or Louisiana Gold)
1 Stick Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup Green Onions, thinly sliced
1 lb Good Quality Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined, Save shells for the stock (I use Wild-Caught Louisiana Shrimp)
Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 Recipe Creole Boiled Rice
While your stock is simmering heat the oil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to make a red-brown Roux 7-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning, the Holy Trinity (Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper), and the Garlic. Set aside. (Up to This step can be done in advance.)
When the stock is finished and strained, bring 1 cup of it to a boil. Whisk the Roux and vegetable mixture in and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning, Worcestershire, and the Hot Sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Have your Creole Boiled Rice ready and your serving dishes warmed before starting the next step.
In a large Cast-Iron frying pan, melt 1/2 stick of the butter over medium heat. Add the Green Onions, Shrimp, and remaining 1 tsp. Creole Seasoning. Sauté until the Shrimp just start to turn pink. Add 1/2 Cup more of the Shrimp Stock and the remaining 1/2 stick butter; cook until the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce, 3-5 minutes, constantly shaking the pan back-and-forth (versus stirring). If you sauce starts to separate, add a splash of stock and continue shaking the pan.
Mound 1/2 cup of Creole Boiled Rice on each serving plate (2), Divide the Etouffee onto the two plates. Serve immediately.
Creole Boiled Rice
2 cups salted boiling water with 2 tablespoon butter melted in it.
1 cup medium grain white rice
4 Fresh Bay Leaves (If you have to use dried, do so, but damn….. the fresh are so much better!)
Bring the water to a boil with the bay leaves. Add the rice, stir to make sure the rice doesn’t stick! Do Not Stir again! If you agitate the rice too much, it gets sticky! So give it a good stir, when it comes back to a boil, cover it with a tight fitting lid. Cook for about 11 minutes, but taste it, when the water is absorbed, the rice should be tender and fluffy.
Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
2 (12 count each) packages of mushroom stuffer caps
6 tablespoons of butter, divided
1/2 cup of chopped onion, finely minced
1/4 cup of chopped green bell pepper, finely minced
2 slices of white or white wheat bread, toasted
1/2 pound of fresh lump crabmeat
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama)
1/2 teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning
Couple shakes of dried parsley
1 tablespoon of dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon of shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion and bell
pepper; cook until softened, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, toast
the bread slices, sprinkle each piece with a good spray of water to wet them thoroughly and
set aside in a bowl to let sit for about 2 minutes. Pick through the crabmeat to check for stray
cartilage and shell; set aside.
Melt the remaining butter. Squeeze out the bread and break it up. Add the egg to the bread
and mix. Add the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Old Bay, and parsley; carefully turn until well
mixed. Add the crab and half of the melted butter, gently mix.
Brush the tops of the mushroom caps with the butter and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes.
Remove, flip the caps over and brush with butter. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out the
crab mixture and top each mushroom cap. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of bread crumbs and a tiny
sprinkle of Parmesan, or slices of brick or provolove cheese if desired. Drizzle top with remaining butter.
Bake at 350 degrees F about 20 minutes, or until mushroom has give to it and is cooked
through. Serve warm with wedges of lemon.