Recipe: Blackened, Baked & Broiled Crappie Fillets

Blackening fish should be done under a commercial hood or outside unless you want a sooty house, if so, cook on but turn off your smoke detector first ;>)

4 crappie fillets

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Non-stick cooking spray

2 tablespoons melted butter divided

Mix paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, white pepper, thyme and oregano in a small bowl and set aside. Heat an iron skillet over high heat until a white ash forms on the bottom. Coat fillets evenly with the seasonings mix, patting fillets by hand. Gently mist one side of the fillet with cooking spray and place fillet sprayed side down in hot skillet. Pour 1/2 tablespoon melted butter on top of each fillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until underside looks charred. Double dipping makes a thicker coating if desired.

 

Crappie Baked with Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is a soft, sweet, mild-tasting, white cheese with a high fat content and a slight tang, and the only cheese I would eat as a child. Traditionally, it is made from un-skimmed milk enriched with more cream. According to Kraft Foods, the first American cream cheese was made in Chester, New York in 1872 by dairyman William Lawrence. In 1880, Philadelphia was taken as the brand name, after the city that was considered (at the time) to be home of top quality food in the USA.

A cheese distributor soon commissioned the dairyman to produce the cream cheese in volume under the trade name Philadelphia Brand. The company was eventually bought by Kraft Foods in 1928, and remains the most widely-recognized brand of cream cheese in the United States.

Cream cheese is categorized as a fresh cheese since it is unaged. As a result, once opened, it has a short shelf life. At room temperature cream cheese spreads easily and has a smooth and creamy texture. It is sold in foil-wrapped blocks or in a soft-spread form which has air whipped in to make it spreadable right from the refrigerator. Many flavored versions are available, including those with herbs, fruits and others tastes.

There are references to cream cheese in England as early as 1583 and in France as early as 1651. Recipes are recorded soon after 1754, particularly from Lincolnshire and the southwest of England.

 

1 1/2 cup cooked, flaked fish

1 3-ounce package cream cheese

1 cup dry macaroni

1 10-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

2 tablespoon prepared mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Allow cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Drain. Blend soup and cream cheese with an electric mixer. Stir in macaroni, fish, onion, green pepper, mustard, salt and milk. Place mixture in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with Corn Flake crumbs. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.

 

 

Tips for Broiled Fish

Broiling is a high-heat technique that browns fish more than baking does and adds more flavors. Many types of fish are suitable for broiling.

  • Preheat the broiler for 7 to 10 minutes prior to adding the fish.
  • Broil fish in the bottom half of a broiler pan that has been lined with aluminum foil and lightly oiled.
  • Oil both sides of a fish fillet, even if you are planning to baste with butter.
  • When broiling whole fish, be sure the total weight doesn’t exceed 2 pounds.
  • The skin on a whole fish should be pricked with a skewer to prevent it from curling and blistering.
  • If broiling skin-on fillets, slash the skin a few times to prevent shrinkage and broil skin side up.
  • The distance from the heat source is determined by the thickness of the fish, allow 2-inches distance from the heat for each 1/2-inch of thickness.
  • Thicker fish fillets should be moved further from the heat to prevent over-cooking on the surface before the center is cooked completely.
  • A general rule for broiling times is allow 2 minutes per side for each 1/2-inch of fish thickness. Or set oven rack 4 to 6 inches below the heating element to broil fish 6 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness (slightly less is using gas broiler).
  • Fish thicker than 3/4-inch should be turned after half of the cooking time or else place fish farther from the heating element.
  • Trout are a splendid choice for broiling. Less fatty or lean fish such as catfish, bass, striper or crappie, etc., dry out unless farther from the broiler and basted periodically with butter, marinade or oil.
  • Don’t try to achieve the golden brown exterior you find on broiled fish from a restaurant by cooking it longer than the times recommended. Home broilers simply don’t get as hot as their commercial counterparts and you’ll end up overcooking your fish.