Redfish and pompano are ideal for this method of cooking. If tilefish is used, you may have to split the fillets in half horizontally to have the proper thickness. If you can’t get any of these fish, salmon steaks or red snapper fillets can be substituted. In any case, the fillets or steaks must not be more than ¾ inch thick.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, hot & spicy, spiced
- ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted in a skillet
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper (preferably cayenne)
- ¾ teaspoon white pepper
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 6 (8- to 10-ounce) fish fillets (preferably redfish, pompano or tilefish), cut about ½ inch thick (see Note)
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over very high heat until it is beyond the smoking stage and you see white ash in the skillet bottom (the skillet cannot be too hot for this dish), at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour 2 tablespoons melted butter in each of 6 small ramekins; set aside and keep warm. Reserve the remaining butter in its skillet. Heat the serving plates in a 250°F oven.
Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. Dip each fillet in the reserved melted butter so that both sides are well coated; then sprinkle seasoning mix generously and evenly on both sides of the fillets, patting it in by hand. Place in the hot skillet and pour 1 teaspoon melted butter on top of each fillet (be careful, as the butter may flame up). Cook, uncovered, over the same high heat until the underside looks charred, about 2 minutes (the time will vary according to the fillet’s thickness and the heat of the skillet). Turn the fish over and again pour 1 teaspoon butter on top; cook until fish is done, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining fillets. Serve each fillet while piping hot.
To serve, place one fillet and a ramekin of butter on each heated serving plate.
1984 Paul Prudhomme