BLACK-IRON SKILLET BUTTER-SEARED BLACKENED CRAPPIE
This recipe requires a heavy black-iron skillet for cooking.
Serve the spicy crappie recipe over a spring salad mix of greens. Note that there are no spices used in the salad.
1 plastic box of Spring Salad Mixed Greens, already washed (produce aisle in grocery)
Extra virgin olive oil
Place the desired amount of greens in an attractive serving bowl; then lightly drizzle a small amount of the olive oil over the greens and toss well. Using small amounts at a time, sprinkle enough balsamic vinegar on the salad greens to produce a tangy flavor. Set aside or cover and refrigerate.
½ cup whole natural almonds
1 lb. crappie fish fillets
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
1 Tablespoons onion powder
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons mild paprika
3 Tablespoons salted butter, divided
Spread the whole almonds in a single layer on a baking pan. Slowly bake the whole natural almonds at 300 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the almonds to completely cool; then place the cooled almonds in a small zipper-top plastic bag and seal. Using a rolling pin or meat mallet, gently pound the toasted almonds in the bag into medium-size pieces (don’t crush). Set aside.
Wash, drain, and pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on each side of the fish fillets.
Using a large zipper-top plastic bag, add all of the remaining ingredients to the bag except the butter. Be careful to read the tablespoons and teaspoons correctly to avoid too much spice and heat!
Securely close the zipper-top plastic bag and shake to mix all of the spices. Open the bag and add one fish fillet at a time, close securely; then shake the bag to only lightly coat the fish fillet. Remove the coated fish to a side dish. Repeat, until all fish fillets are coated.
Put 2 tablespoons of the butter in the black-iron skillet on medium heat until it melts. After melting, raise the heat to medium high watching carefully to prevent burning. Just as the butter begins to sizzle, add the fish fillets to the hot butter and cook on one side for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1tablespoon of butter to the skillet and use a large spatula to carefully turn the fish fillets to finish cooking. Fish cooks quickly and is done when tested for flakiness with a fork.
To serve, make layers on individual plates beginning with a portion of the dressed salad, one or more hot fish fillets, then sprinkle the top with some toasted almond pieces. Place a lemon wedge on each plate for individual use.