This is my version based on the technique of Paul Prudhomme.
2 catfish fillets
trim fillets if neccessary to be ½ thick
melted unsalted butter, as needed
Casinada seasoning mix, as needed, recipe follows
Casinada Seasoning Mix:
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
No nutrition information available
Before you start:
Use a cast iron skillet large enough for the fillets to lay flat without overlapping each other. The skillet will need to be heated until it is white hot and will produce a lot of noxious smoke during cooking (spices become airborne with the smoke). If you do not have a strong vent hood or if your cooktop burners cannot get hot enough, do the cooking outdoors over a high heat propane cooker.
You can not substitute for the butter - The butter burns and becomes part of the blackening. The fillets should be served immediately after cooking with a little melted butter served on the side.
To make Casinada Seasoning Mix:
In a mortar & pestle, pound the dried rosemary with ½ teaspoon of the salt to break up the leaves of the rosemary. Stir in the remaining salt and other ingredients. Store unused seasoning mix in an airtight container.
To cook the fish:
Heat a dry cast iron skillet over high heat for several minutes. Meanwhile, dip both sides of the fillets in melted butter then sprinkle liberally with the CasiNada Seasoning Mix. When the skillet is hot, hot, hot, carefully lay each fillet in the skillet - without overlapping. Pour about a teaspoon of butter over the top of each fillet. CAREFUL - IT MAY FLARE UP. Cook over high heat until the bottom is charred but not burned - about 1 1/ 2 minutes. Turn the fillets and pour a little butter over the top of the fillets and cook until that side is charred and fillets are cooked through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Serve right away.
If the fillets are ½ inch thick, they will cook through in this short cooking time at this high heat. You want charred, not burned. It's a fine line at this high temperature! You also want the inside just cooked, not dried out from over cooking. Ask the fish monger for small fillets and ask to see them before they are bagged so you can gauge the thickness of each, then trim them if necessary to the desired thickness.