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Blackened Redfish with Lemon Butter

From Betty Fussell, I Hear America Cooking

Serves: 4


  • 4 1/2-lb. redfish fillets, 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 c. olive oil or corn oil
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1/4 lb. (1 stick) butter
  • 2 scallions, with tops, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced


  1. Mix dry seasonings and rub well into each side of the fish fillets. Coat fillets with a little oil and set aside while you heat the skillet and make the sauce. Heat a heavy cast-iron ungreased skillet until it is ashen hot, about 10 minutes.
  2. For lemon-butter sauce, grate the lemon zest and reserve. Cut off all the white pith from the lemon and discard. Cut lemon into quarters, remove seeds, and puree lemon pulp in a blender. Remove any remaining membranes. Melt butter and pour it, bubbling, into a whirring blender containing the lemon.
  3. Add the fillets, 1 or 2 at a time, to the heated skillet and char on each side, about 2 minutes a side.
  4. Place on a serving platter, sprinkle with scallions, garlic, and lemon zest, and pour the lemon butter over the top.


  • The recipe says that you can use this recipe with any firm-fleshed fish, such as tilefish, sea trout, or striped bass. First time I made it I used red snapper filets, which worked fine. I've also done it with catfish, also fine. Also fine if you omit the sauce.
  • I cut the cayenne pepper way back -- just a couple sprinkles.

Keywords: Cajun, Fish.