Sunday, July 12, 2015

Blackened Alaska Rockfish

Rockfish probably won't win any beauty contests, but they sure do taste amazing. They are not consumed as much as their more popular Alaskan siblings like salmon and halibut, but they should be! They are mild and slightly sweet with a medium to firm texture. You can prepare rockfish a variety of ways, but blackening it makes a quick and extremely satisfying meal. Packed with full-on flavor from the fish as well as the seasonings, you won't be disappointed in this rockfish recipe. ~Patti
2 pounds rockfish fillets, cleaned and skinned
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons)unsalted butter
2+ tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt - liberal sprinkling
 Old Bay Seasoning - liberal sprinkling
 black pepper - liberal sprinkling
Cayenne Pepper, use sparingly, delivers a fiery kick!

These are the main players in this super simple recipe.

Rinse and gently pat dry rockfish fillets.

Generously season both sides of the fillet. This is all about the intense flavor. Go heavy on the black pepper and easy on the cayenne (unless you like to cry when you eat). It can be very strong. I would use about 1/2 teaspoon total of cayenne - if you find you like more heat, bump it up next time.

Add butter and oil to cast iron skillet. Get very hot so it is shimmery - add fillets (don't crowd pan). Cook about 4 minutes per side (depends on thickness) turning once. I like to use a spatter shield - the butter and oil can get a little frisky. Fish is done when it has that gorgeous deep golden color,  and is just opaque in the center. As with all fish - don't overcook!

Remove fillets to a plate and serve while still hot.  I served these with a dill cucumber salad and dirty rice, which is also spicy. Coleslaw would also be good. You can make this a casual meal or really dress it up and impress your guests :)

Rockfish is probably not best grilled; the way it flakes in chunks, it would probably be a bear to turn on the grill and fall apart. fried, sautéed, baked or poached would be better. 

Here is our friend Kelly with a good haul of halibut, rockfish (the dark colored fish) and a few salmon on a recent trip to Homer, Alaska.

Rockfish do not have much oil, like halibut, but the meat is still moist and has a medium flake to it. There are over 70 varieties of rockfish! They can be black or red - even green - and the brighter the color the deeper the water. We've have caught both orange and black and they taste the same (delicious). As a bonus, rockfish is low in saturated fat, is a good source of niacin, vitamins B6 & B12, and a very good source of protein and selenium! Rockfish, you rock.

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