Blackened Fish Filets

Blackened Fish Filets
Makes 6 servings

If you don't have a commercial hood vent over your stove, this dish will set off every smoke alarm in your neighborhood!  It's better to cook it outdoors on a gas grill, a butane burner, or a charcoal grill, but you'll need to make the coals hotter by giving them extra air (a normal charcoal fire doesn't get hot enough to "blacken" the fish properly). Meanwhile heat your cast-iron skillet as hot as possible on your kitchen stove, at least 10 minutes.  When the coals are glowing, use very thick potholders to carefully transfer the hot skillet to the grill.  You can also make this a reduced fat dish simple by spraying both sides of the fish filets with nonstick cooking spray (instead of using butter) before applying the seasoning.

3 Tb. Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic Seasoning or Blackened Redfish Magic or Meat Magic, or Barbecue Magic, or Fajita Magic, or Magic Seasoning Salt, or Magic Salt-Free Seasoning.
½ stick unsalted butter (melted) or oil  
6 (8-10 oz.) fish filets (such as red snapper, catfish, redfish, salmon, ahi tuna steaks, mahimahi or any other firm fleshed fish) at room temperature, cut about ½" thick

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over very high heat until it is extremely hot. With a spoon spread a little of the butter or oil on each side of the filets.  Sprinkle one side with the Magic Seasoning Blend and place the filet in the heated skillet seasoned side down.  Sprinkle the top sides with the remaining Magic Seasoning Blend.  Cook- turning frequently until the fish starts to flake, about 4 minutes.  Repeat with remaining filets.  Serve each filet while piping hot. 
Special note from Chef Paul Prudhomme: Because this method is simple, any variation will make a dramatic difference.  Be sure the skillet is hot enough and absolutely dry.  Be sure not to over season- the herbs and spices should highlight the taste rather than hide it or overpower it.  You don't need to overcook the filet- there is a big difference between blackened and burned.  Avoid a burned, bitter taste by wiping out the skillet between batches.