Nor am I talking about the heavy metal muscians who are Metallica. 😉
Nope, I’m talking salmon, peoples.
Last night, hubby and I had a hankering for some fish. I wanted to keep the meal simple — we’d had to work most of the weekend — and I thought baked potato (on the grill), whole frozen green beans cooked up and seasoned with a splash of light Italian dressing, and Blackened Salmon sounded about as yummy as could be.
“They” keep telling us that we should eat more fish — which hubby and I are all for when we’re able to find affordable fillets and I can find a yummy, yet healthy way to fix it. As we can get individually frozen tilapia and salmon fillets relatively inexpensively, those are the two kinds of fish I fix us most often.
While there is controversy regarding farm versus wild-caught fish (and in this day and age, it seems there’s some kind of controversy about almost everything), regardless, the general consensus (at least according to Wikipedia!) is that salmon is better for you than not, whether it’s wild caught or farmed (by the way, I just checked, and according to the packaging, the salmon in my freezer is wild caught):
Salmon is a popular food. Classified as an “oily fish”, salmon is considered to be healthy due to the fish’s high protein, high omega-3 fatty acids, and high vitamin D content. Salmon is also a source of cholesterol, with a range of 23–214 mg/100 g depending on the species. According to reports in the journal Science, however, farmed salmon may contain high levels of dioxins. PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) levels may be up to eight times higher in farmed salmon than in wild salmon. Omega-3 content may also be lower than in wild-caught specimens, and in a different proportion to what is found naturally. Omega-3 comes in three types, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA); wild salmon has traditionally been an important source of DHA and EPA, which are important for brain function and structure, among other things. The body can itself convert ALA omega-3 into DHA and EPA, but at a very inefficient rate (2–15%). Nonetheless, according to a 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the benefits of eating even farmed salmon still outweigh any risks imposed by contaminants. The type of omega-3 present may not be a factor for other important health functions.
A simple rule of thumb is that the vast majority of Atlantic salmon available on the world market are farmed (greater than 99%), whereas the majority of Pacific salmon are wild caught (greater than 80%). Farmed Atlantic salmon outnumber wild Atlantic salmon 85-to-1.
Blackened fish (or shrimp) is often thought of as a specialty entrée in seafood restaurants. Typically associated with Cajun cuisine, I’d always thought blackened fish was something so specialized that one was better off all ’round only getting it in a restaurant.
Boy, was I wrong!
Thanks to a March 2011 edition of Brookshire’s monthly “Celebrate Cooking” magazine, I decided to alter their seasoning recipe a smidge to suit our tastes and to give blackening fish a try.
Let me tell you, it couldn’t be simpler, and hubby and I both find it as delicious — if not more so! — than any blackened fish we’ve ordered (and paid big bucks for) in any restaurant.
I’ve made this both in a non-stick skillet and on the grill, and it’s turned out delicious both times. The recipe cautions that you want to prepare it either on an outdoor grill or in a well ventilated area — the seasonings are powerful when mixed with heat; if you make it indoors, open a window and get a fan going.
This is so simple and so chock-full of yummy flavor (and good for you fish!) that you’ll want to give it a go, I promise, even if you do have to open up a window for a few minutes.
I’ve found that the seasoning mix makes up more than I typically need for 1 pound of fish, but half a recipe wouldn’t give you enough, I don’t think. I just save the leftover seasoning in a sealed container and add to it, as needs be, the next time I get a hankering to blacken something.
Blackened Salmon (Serves 4 to 6)
- 2 tablespoons ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon ground paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (red pepper)
- 1 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (I use reduced sodium)
- Garlic powder to taste (I give it a healthy sprinkling, probably 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
- Olive oil (preferred) or canola oil (you’ll need VERY little; a tablespoon or less)
- Mix together blackened seasoning.
- Lightly brush salmon fillets with olive oil.
- Coat both sides of fillets thoroughly with seasoning.
- Cook on the grill or in a non-stick skillet (very lightly rub non-stick surface with a very small amount of oil or spritz with a small amount of oil) over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, then turn and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
This is so yummy, that even if you’re a die-hard metal head, you’ll find yourself disagreeing with Metallica’s “Blackened” that it’s the end of the world. 😉