I’ll never forget the first time I had a piece of blackened fish. It was in New Orleans and my old-school chowhound daddy had decided we needed to investigate this K-Paul’s restaurant everybody was talking about.

I’ve never been the same.

K-Paul’s wasn’t terribly fancy but it had created a buzz in the city that was palpable when you {tried} to walk in. Even in the hot of summer, when New Orleans is typically not all that crowded, the room was packed and on a wait.

So wait we did. The memory of the particulars of the meal have faded, but I’ll never forget that seared, mahogany hunk of fish that had been trawled out of the Gulf of Mexico. It was glorious.

I’ve been blackening my own fish for years now. Catfish, mahi, snapper, you name it. If it can be bought at Fiesta Mart, I’ve got a cast iron pan with its name on it.

Here’s my recipe for Blackened Catfish with Creamy Grits-you’ll never be the same.

Blackening seasoning aka Cajun Dust

1 T. Paprika

1 T. Black Pepper

1 T. White Pepper

1 T. Garlic Powder

1 T. Onion Powder

1 t. Cayenne

2 T. Corn Starch [prevents clumping]

* Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in Tupperware

Catfish, 1-2 filets


* Heat cast iron pan til good and hot

* rub catfish down with peanut oil then sprinkle blackening seasoning all over both sides,add a little salt

* introduce fish to hot pan {some folks like to add a little oil to the pan but I go with a dry pan}

* cook 2 minutes on side A, flip fish, turn pan off and let sit for 1 minute

Creamy Grits

1 c. Grits, Stone Ground

2 oz, Butter, from a well-tended cow

½ c. Cream, heavy, whipping


* Fill mixing bowl with cold water

* Add grits, let sit 5 minutes

* Pour off “chaff” and water carefully [the chaff is what will float to the top,crucial step]

* Add two cups water to sauce pan

* Bring to boil

* Gradually add grits

* Reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes

* Add cream, simmer 10 minutes more

* Add butter

* Combine thoroughly

* Let sit 5 minutes

Now you have a bed for the blackened catfish to sit on. The hot, charred fish flesh and the creamy, buttery grits are a marriage made in heaven. This recipe will serve you well til you plan your next trip to New Orleans. Bon Appetit y’all


cooking notes: This is a no-salt Cajun Dust recipe, feel free to add all the salt you’d like-double the recipe if you’d like to keep some in your cupboard

any fish will work with this recipe, I chose catfish cause it was what was on sale at Fiesta Mart.

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