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Blackened Fish And Cheese Grits

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Blackened Fish And Cheese Grits

 

Blackened fish and cheese grits: a culinary symphony that resonates with the soul of the American South. Picture a sizzling cast-iron skillet, the aroma of Cajun spices dancing in the air, and creamy grits infused with sharp cheddar. This dish is a celebration of flavor, texture, and tradition—a harmonious blend of spicy, savory, and comforting elements that tantalize the taste buds and warm the heart.

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At its core, blackened fish and cheese grits embody the essence of Southern cuisine: simple yet robust, humble yet indulgent. The origins of blackened fish can be traced back to Chef Paul Prudhomme, who popularized the technique in the 1980s. By generously seasoning fish fillets with a blend of spices, then searing them in a smoking-hot skillet, Chef Prudhomme created a dish that showcased the bold flavors of Louisiana cooking.

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To prepare blackened fish, start with a firm-fleshed variety such as redfish, snapper, or catfish. The key lies in the seasoning—a fiery mix of paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and oregano. This potent blend is rubbed onto the fish, forming a flavorful crust when it hits the hot skillet. The result? A beautifully charred exterior that gives way to moist, tender flesh bursting with smoky, spicy goodness.

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Meanwhile, the cheese grits provide the perfect canvas for the blackened fish to shine. Grits, made from ground corn, have been a staple of Southern cooking for centuries. When cooked low and slow with milk, water, and a generous handful of sharp cheddar cheese, they transform into a lusciously creamy bed of comfort. The cheese adds richness and depth, while the grits themselves provide a satisfyingly hearty texture that complements the bold flavors of the fish.

Together, the blackened fish and cheese grits create a culinary synergy that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each bite offers a tantalizing contrast of flavors and textures: the smoky heat of the fish against the creamy coolness of the grits, the sharp tang of the cheese against the earthy spice of the seasoning. It’s a dish that awakens the senses and transports you to the sun-drenched shores of the Gulf Coast, where the air is thick with the scent of seafood and the sound of jazz drifts on the breeze.

But blackened fish and cheese grits are more than just a delicious meal—they’re a celebration of Southern heritage and hospitality. Whether served up at a down-home fish fry or plated with finesse at a fine dining restaurant, this dish embodies the warmth and generosity of Southern culture. It’s meant to be shared with loved ones, enjoyed with laughter and conversation, and savored until the very last bite.

In conclusion, blackened fish and cheese grits are a culinary masterpiece that pays homage to the rich culinary tradition of the American South. With its bold flavors, comforting textures, and soulful spirit, this dish is sure to delight food lovers near and far. So gather your friends and family, fire up the skillet, and prepare to embark on a culinary journey that is as delicious as it is unforgettable.

Source: pinkowlkitchen.com

Yield: 4

Blackened Fish And Cheese Grits

Blackened Fish And Cheese Grits

Blackened fish and cheese grits: a culinary symphony that resonates with the soul of the American South. Picture a sizzling cast-iron skillet, the aroma of Cajun spices dancing in the air, and creamy grits infused with sharp cheddar. This dish is a celebration of flavor, texture, and tradition—a harmonious blend of spicy, savory, and comforting elements that tantalize the taste buds and warm the heart.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

Cheese Grits:

  • 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half or milk or heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup stone ground grits see note
  • 1 cup smoked gouda cheese freshly shredded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Blackened Fish:

  • 4 catfish filets about 1.5 pounds, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons homemade blackened seasoning or store-bought
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Cajun Cream Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup yellow onion chopped
  • ½ cup red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Add the chicken broth, half and half, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly pour the grits into the pan while stirring with a wooden spoon so lumps do not form.

  • Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer the grits for 35-45 minutes, or until tender and creamy, stirring occasionally.

  • Meanwhile, rinse and pat the catfish fillets dry. Brush both sides of each piece of fish with melted butter and coat each side with blackened seasoning, rubbing it into the fish with your hands.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Place the catfish in the heated skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes per side until a charred crust forms on the outside and it is cooked through. Transfer the fish to a paper towel-lined plate.

  • In the same skillet that you cooked the fish in, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper and cook for 2 to 3 until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

  • Pour the chicken broth and heavy cream into the skillet and season with blackened seasoning. Cook the sauce for 4 to 6 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat.

Notes

  • If you use quick-cooking grits the measurements and cooking time in this recipe will not work. Please follow the instructions on the package if using quick-cooking or instant grits.
  • This recipe can be made with many other types of fish, including cod, snapper, tilapia, salmon, or trout. Be sure to adjust the cooking times as needed.
  • Leftover blackened fish and grits can be stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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