Restaurant inspired, this Cajun version of the Granville Inn’s grilled salmon packs a powerful punch of savory and sweet flavors. It’s way more flavorful than it is overly spicy.
I created this dish for dinner last night, and, oh my goodness, it was unbelievably tasty (yes, I’m giving myself a little deserving pat on the back for this creation).
The idea came from a dish I had at the Granville Inn in Granville, Ohio, during a recent golf trip I took with my best bud, Diane. She and I take annual trips and having delicious food at the end of a day of golf is as important as the golf game itself. We’ve had some really yummy foods over the years. We’ve also tried some new things that weren’t so good, like scrapple on our trip to Virginia. That stuff was horrible. Oh, I need to digress here.
The dish I had at the Granville Inn was grilled salmon served atop a bed of seasoned corn and drizzled with a harissa honey butter. It was scrumptious and my goal was to recreate a version of it Cajun style because, well, that’s what I do.
Instead of salmon, I used tilapia since that’s what I had in the freezer. I also had some andouille sausage hidden among the many other Cajun staples I have in my freezer like boudin, freshly caught shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico, alligator meat, and crawfish. I bring these goodies home after every visit to my parents in Louisiana, so there’s never a shortage in my house.
I decided to blacken the fish in place of grilling. Now mind you, my version of blackened is prepared the way I grew up eating it. It is entirely more flavorful rather than the over-the-top spicy many people seem to liken to Cajun foods.
The corn dish has all kinds of good stuff in it: sweet potatoes, andouille, onions, peppers, and, of course, corn. I decided to add the honey and harissa into the pot instead of a drizzle on top. I used this dried Harissa Seasoning. If you’ve not had harissa yet, it’s surely worth adding to your seasoning cabinet. It’s an exotic, fiery blend of spices that has many uses in the kitchen.
Admittedly, it took a bit of time to dice up all the ingredients for the corn. It was so worth the effort though. Dinner was undeniably delicious. I’m having a plateful of leftovers for lunch right now as I type this post. Yummy!
As hubby and son said after dinner last night, this is a do-over for sure.
- You’ll need a super sharp knife to dice the sweet potatoes and the Zwilling Signature Rock & Chop Set is ideal for the task. A solid veggie peeler is also needed, and I love using my Spring Chef Vegetable Peeler to get the job done.
- A large fry pan or skillet is the best choice for preparing the corn, and, you guessed it, I use my Classic Cajun Cookware. I love everything about this pan.
- Use a Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet to blacken the fish. Cast iron distributes heat perfectly when frying fish, which means minimal handling and flipping of the fish — particularly important when blackening fish.
- There are two tasty pieces to this recipe: blackened fish and a corn side dish. You can make and serve them together as the recipe shows, or easily make and serve either one with other dishes. My favorite is blackened fish with cheesy grits, and the corn side dish goes well with grilled foods like chicken or all by itself.
- This dish has plenty of protein and veggies, and you don’t need much to complete the meal. A loaf of crusty French bread is really all you need.
- I’m always a bit careful about leftover seafood because it can spoil quickly and cause quite a belly ache. Store leftover fish and corn in separate containers in the refrigerator. Fish is good for up to three days and corn up to five days.
- A Cajun dish is deserving of nothing other than an ice-cold Cajun beer. My husband’s favorite is Abita Turbodog, which is a dark, less bitter beer that complements the Cajun spices well.
- I tend to shy away from wines when I have Cajun food such as this one, mostly because I can’t rely on the wine to cool my palette. A better choice is a white sangria or, for a true Cajun experience, a tall glass of Abita Louisiana Hard Sweet Tea. The flavors of these sweeter drinks make a terrific complement to this dish.
- A variety of fish fillets are ideal for blackening. Try redfish, salmon, tilapia, catfish, or any favorite fish.
- Adjust the heat on this dish to your liking by increasing or decreasing the amount of cayenne and harissa used.
- If you don’t have Tony Chachere’s seasoning in the cupboard, it’s okay to leave out; however, I recommend you run out and get some quick. This wonderful creole seasoning gives this dish — among many others — that little extra punch.
- Cajun made andouille sausage is always the first choice for this recipe, and Aidells Cajun Style Andouille Sausage and Manda Andouille are good options. Smoked Polish kielbasa or chorizo are good substitutes, if needed.
- Dicing sweet potatoes can be a bit of a challenge, since these delectable veggies are so dense. A dull knife doesn’t work well for this task, not to mention you could end up with a severe cut. Instead of hacking away at the potato with a dull knife, try this trick. After you wash and peel the potato, toss in the microwave for two minutes. This will make it tender enough to cut.
- Butter is the best bet to create that blackened crustiness on the fish. If you’re not a fan of butter, olive oil is a suitable alternative.
- Make sure the cast iron skillet is hot before adding the butter. Once the butter melts and is bubbly hot, you can add the fish. Use caution when adding fish to the hot skillet. The butter pops during the frying process and can burn if it touches the skin. And a billow of buttery smoke is sure to fill the room, so consider using your exhaust fan or cracking the window when frying up the fish.
- Tie your hands with an apron if you need to, but you’ll want to resist the urge to flip the fish even if it seems like it’s burning. Let it cook undisturbed before flipping. This will create the blackened crustiness on the fish, which is what blackened fish is all about.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a comment and star rating below. It’s always refreshing to hear how others like a recipe, find success with it, or tweak to suit. I’d love to hear from you!