Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Blackened Redfish with Grilled Peppers and Rice

Fishing was a big part of my youth.

My grandfather taught me to fish in the “tobacco pond” on his North Carolina farm. Later I taught myself to fish in the mosquito laden coves, Intracoastal waterway, and on the creaking ocean piers of Florida. Those sun washed days of waiting for the rod tip to twitch and bend produced plenty of fish but I never ate any. I'm a fish-o-phobe. Love catching them, hate eating them.

My son, Brett, and his friend took a fishing trip in Florida last week and returned with some fresh redfish. When I think of redfish I immediately think of blackened redfish made famous by Paul Prudhomme. That begs a question: If you blacken redfish (aka red drum) are you supposed to redden black drum?

I took this opportunity to try out a recipe or two from a book I will be reviewing soon, 1001 Best Grilling Recipes by Rick Browne. I took the blackening seasoning from one recipe for salmon and matched it with his Grilled Peppers & Rice. 

Blackened Redfish with Grilled Peppers & Rice

4 ea redfish fillets
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp parsley, fresh chopped
4 Tbsp butter

1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 2” wide strips
2 medium onions, cliced into ½ inch slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ cup cooked long grain rice
½ cup cooked wild rice
¼ cup fresh basil
1.5 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp parsley, fresh chopped
¼ cup roasted red bell pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Start your rice at the same time you fire up the coal for your grill for a direct heat cook at 350f.

Mix the salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, garlic and thyme for the fish seasoning.

Brush the onion slices and peppers with oil and grill 3-4 minutes per side, until the veggies have char marks and are tender. 

Remove and dice the vegetables.

Mix these veggies with the rice, basil, lemon juice, parsley, red bell pepper, salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.

Now put a cast iron skillet or griddle plate on the grill. I was using a Craycort castiron grate so I was able to just switch out one of the grates for a griddle insert. Whatever you use, you want to get it preheated HOT. Real friggin' HOT (technical culinary term)! Place the butter and parsley in a tiny sauce pan.

When grilling fish, here are two quick tips [Source:]
  1. Dry the exterior of the fish. This will help prevent sticking to the griddle pan and get a nice blackened instead of steamed crust.
  2. Keep the fish cold until the last possible minute by keeping it on a bed of crushed ice. Fish proteins break down quickly from heat.

Place the fillets on the griddle and top with 1 Tablespoon of the butter mixture. Be careful. If the butter splashes onto the glowing coals, it will flash over. Either way, it will smoke heavily. 

Cook for 2 minutes and then flip. Top with another Tablespoon of the butter. 

Cook for 2 more minutes and then remove from heat. Serve immediately with the rice.

I didn't eat the fish, because, is fish. Brett and Cameron devoured it though. But the grilled peppers and rice rocked. It reminded me of “dirty rice” without meat but amped up with the fire roasted veggies.  It is the perfect side dish for blackened redfish or just about any Cajun dish.


  1. I can almost smell the grilled veggies from here. And the fish looks great!

  2. So, did you actually go to all the trouble to make this marvelous looking fish and then not eat it yourself?

  3. So you don't like fish. In that case, may I have your portion? You're a great dad Chris to grill their catch. Perfectly cooked too.

  4. I'm shocked to learn that you don't like fish, Chris! I don't know why, but I am!

    This looks delicious! I love that little grill you used to cook this...would you share what kind that is? Thanks!

    Kim in MD

  5. If something is blackened, I'm already half way to loving it.

  6. This is my kind of dinner! For someone who doesn't like fish, you nailed it. Very nice choice for the side dish, too. I believe the proper comment would be something like "Dat am good!".

    p.s. I would really like to see a post on reddened blackfish

  7. The fish looks beautiful, Chris! I love blackened fish, I will definitely have to try this seasoning. And the rice, love it! I do something similar that is pretty much a staple in our house now.

  8. Chris, your photos are making my mouth water!!! YUM! Always looking for new ways to do seafood! :)

  9. Fish-o-phobe? Me, too! Although I will eat some fish...salmon, because if you live in the Northwest it's everywhere and it would be rude not to, and the occasional piece of tuna, which I pretend is chicken. And I always cook it outside so as not to stink the place up! Won't be trying this...well, maybe the rice!

  10. Not a fish guy huh... funny comment at the end...

    BUT I AM! and I loves my blacken Redfish. I have grate envy

  11. @Kim in MD: It is a Bodum Fyrkat Picnic grill, similar to a Weber Smokey Joe.

    Mine is blue but you can get them in a range of colors.

    The grate used with it is aftermarket, a Craycort.

  12. Looks great Chris and for future reference - If you'll catch em and clean em, I cook and eat them.

  13. didnt eat this delish meal! Crazy!

  14. I feel so much better that I am not the only "fish- o-phobe". I get a lot of grief, as I am a native Floridian and seafood is front center.

    For not being a fish guy, you can obviously prepare fish very well for everyone else.


  15. how delicious! i have never had redfish before, but it looks so good. my husband got a fishing pole for father's day so i'm hoping for more fish in the future.

  16. One of your better posts Chris. I don't fish but you can drop by and fix this meal for our family anytime!!!!

  17. Oh yeah! I could go for this. Blackened fish is the best!!! Your spicy seasoning sounds great! We have a lake a block from our house that we used to love fishing in, a good variety to cook up and great times! Now it is catch and release, so sad.

  18. I can-NOT believe you didn't eat that delicious looking fish. Not even a bite? Very timely post, I noticed redfish at the market the other day and stood there staring at it wondering what I'd do.

  19. I know you don't like fish but that looks pretty darn awesome! If that can't get you to eat it than it's completely hopeless! It's cool of you to cook it for your family anyways.

  20. Looks fantastic Chris. I would have been more than happy to eat your portion for you!

  21. I've never had redfish before, but I know I would love it since I love all seafood. The whole dish looks mouth-watering!

  22. So jealous of your grill as the weather starts to heat up. You can make a fast meal in no time. Catfish is another one that rocks when you cook it this way!

  23. How does the Craycort grate for the smokey joe fit in the Frykat? Is it a "good" fit? They have the Frykat on sale near me and I have a Weber 18.5 with the Craycort grate already - and love it.

  24. @ Knowgood - It fits rather well. It's a little smaller than the grill but it won't fall in. I've probably used it 6 or so times on the Fyrkat without any incidents.

  25. I just made it and it is all gone. No leftovers for lunch tomortow.


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