Blackening Salmon

Just 10 minutes is all you need to blacken salmon. Casey Wilcox demonstrates how to create a seasoned crust and maintain a juicy interior in this easy blackened salmon recipe with creole mustard vinaigrette.

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Video Transcript

I'm Casey Wilcox. I'm the executive chef of Justine's in Austin, Texas. And today, we'll talk about blackening.

It's a quick cooking process that's going to leave you with a nice, charred, highly seasoned crust—while keeping the interior juicy.

Blackened dishes are traditionally prepared in a cast iron pan. Cooking in a cast iron skillet allows you to cook at a high temperature for longer periods of time without the pan warping or getting hot spots.

Now I'll show you the process in making blackened salmon. The blackened spice mix—it's made from normal spices like cayenne, garlic powder, salt. But unless you want a lot of half-empty spice containers, it's easier just to buy one and use that.

What creates the blackening is the toasting and charring of the spices, as well as the butter browning.

So now we'll add the butter to the pan. And what we want to do, when we add butter to anything, is we want to add the food into the pan while the butter is still foaming, because that gives us a chance to let the food start cooking as the butter is browning.

The blackening process can produce a lot of smoke because of that toasting and burning. And, if you don't have adequate ventilation, it may be something you'd consider doing outside.

Okay, so we're looking for a nice blackened color when we're checking the fish. We're almost there.

We can actually cook the fish the rest of the way through on the skin side by flipping it in the pan, turning it off and letting the carry-over heat of the pan cook the fish through the skin side. And that way we'll end up with salmon that's still perfectly done and not dry.

Okay, so we've flipped it and turned the pan off. That's a medium-rare or medium. So, let's get it out of the pan. So, there we have a perfectly blackened piece of salmon in about 4 minutes’ time. Everything is perfectly cooked.

And I'm just going to make a really quick creole mustard vinaigrette that goes well with the Louisiana flavors of blackened fish.

We're going to start with a little bit of creole mustard. Some cider vinegar. Just mix this together with our fork. A little sugar to offset the heat of the hot sauce that I'm adding right now. And then we'll finish this with a little bit of oil.

Drizzle a little of the dressing or sauce down. A little bit of leaf lettuce. And then, lastly, the piece of fish.

So, this is just an easy blackened salmon dish that you can make in under 10 minutes.

I'm Casey Wilcox for Co+op, stronger together.