On October 8, 2015 Louisiana lost one of its brights culinary stars, Chef Paul Prudhomme. This man was a legend in Creole cooking who was famous the world over for his blend of Southern and American style cuisines. I distinctly remember watching him cook on television when I was little and thinking how cool was his hat and how odd it was that he cooked sitting down. Now that I am older I can admire him for the amazing accomplishments he has had. He was the first American born Executive Chef at Commander’s Palace. He has had a successful restaurant, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen, since 1979. His brand of seasonings with his happy smiley face on the bottle can be found in all 50 states.
Today I decided to pay homage to Chef Paul by cooking one of his signature dishes, blackened fish. Now I don’t have any fresh red fish on hand but I do have some tilapia and a jar of Chef Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning. Before I start my cooking I thought I’d read through some words of wisdom from the chef himself with some cooking tips found on his website.
Everyday Cooking Hints from Chef Paul
- Always use fresh ingredients when available.
- Always start with food at nearly room temperature.
- To get the best flavor, remove excess moisture by patting meat with a clean paper towel before seasoning or applying heat.
- Apply oil to meat or vegetables, instead of in pan.
- Always start with a hot pan.
- Season and taste every step of the way.
- Be careful to not overcook your meat, chicken, or seafood.
- Make sure to have a good meat thermometer on hand and use it to know when meat is cooked.
- For more flavor when making sauces or soups that contain meat: season and brown off meat, then set aside and complete sauce or soup. Then add browned-off meat and finish dish.
- Add butter at the last moment to get the taste, but not the fat.
- Always remember that whatever is added last to the dish will be tasted first; i.e. garlic, sesame oil, ginger, butter, etc.
Ok now that I’ve learned something its time to cook. The recipe is simple. Super hot cast iron skillet. Very little butter. Liberal sprinkling of blackening season on each side. Keep flipping until it becomes flaky. In theory this seems doable. Lets see if it really is.
I watched a few YouTube videos first just to see how other people cooked it…you know just in case so I didn’t burn my house down. Turns out lots of people put a stick of butter in their hot pans and that worked out really well for me. It didn’t make anything greasy or soggy it was just enough so the fish didn’t stick. Since I had thin fish it literally took a minute and a half on each side. This was absolutely the best fish I have ever cooked. It was moist and flakey. The seasoning wasn’t over powering it was just enough to make a yummy curst and have lost of flavor. Do yourself a favor and pick this stuff up! You won’t be sorry!