The classic Cajun technique of blackening fish in a fragrant blend of herbs and spices lends itself well to an oily, flavorful fish such as salmon. Pair this dish with a zippy red wine, such as a California Zinfandel, or with a well-balanced rosé, for an interesting twist on food and wine pairing.
Prep time: 25 Minutes Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Serves: 4 People Difficulty: Medium
- 2 tsp. salt
- 4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
- 4 salmon fillets, about 6 oz each, skin and pin bones removed
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Mix first 7 ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil over the salmon fillets and rub fillets with the oil to cover.
- Press the spice mixture onto the top side of each of the fillets, making sure to get a good even coating on each.
- Heat a heavy bottomed, large sauté pan, preferably cast-iron, over high heat until very hot.
- Add the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil to coat the pan.
- Place the salmon fillets, seasoned side down, in the pan and add the butter.
- Cook the salmon, without moving it, until the spices turn dark brown, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the salmon fillets from the pan and place, spice side up, on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
- Bake the fish until it is just opaque in the center, or to your desired degree of doneness if you like it cooked more.