I’ll have to admit that I have not been eating healthy due to the holidays. Face it, that is the time of year we are supposed to behave as if we were garbage disposals, consuming everything from roast turkey to whole pies. I’m surprised because I have actually lost some weight, but my cholesterol numbers are so horrific that my doctor has resorted to threats.
I have always liked fish, but I rarely eat it. I have a number of reasons. First, beef beats fish. It’s like rock crushes scissors. No contest. Second, my kids are picky eaters. I’m the chef and they have vastly broadened their culinary horizons over the years, but fish happens to be their last bastion. Well, except for our five year old, Maddie. She is the most adventurous of the bunch. Strangely, green bean casserole happens to be her favorite dish and she is addicted to sardines. I also had my sardine fetish when I was her age. The reason I don’t eat sardines with as much voracity as I had in my youth is because my wife insists that I eat sardines outside. That doesn’t always happen. I have been known to eat sardine sandwiches in bed while she slept next to me.
Okay, my reasons aren’t as numerous as I expected. Nevertheless, I have to actively work to incorporate tastiness in my kids’ lives. If it weren’t for me, I’m sure they would eat nothing but mechanically separated chicken nuggets. Blech.
I was feeling lazy when I made this dish, so I looked back on how I prepared the fish previously. I developed a nice rub for blackening, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to trim my rosemary bush and simply sear the fish. I had blackberries that I wanted to incorporate and didn’t think they would go well with the rosemary, so I decided to blacken this finned delight. I stuck with my blackening rub with a couple of changes, and I think it went well.
1 1/2 – 2 pounds steelhead trout fillets (scaled and be sure to remove any remaining bones)
extra virgin olive oil to coat the fish
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 single serve packet Starbucks instant coffee (next time I think I will use two coffee packets)
Combine dry ingredients.
Coat fish fillets liberally with EVOO. Apply rub liberally and allow to rest on butcher paper at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat cast iron skillet. Once heated, add fillets flesh-side down and sear for three minutes (you may need to cook the fillets in a couple of batches). After three minutes, carefully turn and sear skin side for three minutes. When it is searing, don’t get impatient and fiddle with the fillets. You’ll end up with tore up fish. You’d be just as well eating a can of tuna if you do that.
That’s it. The fish is done. The actually cooking part of the fish is the last thing you want to do as it cooks so quickly.
This fish goes great with roasted carrots and black rice. If you really want to dazzle your spouse with culinary delights, make a nice blackberry sauce. Delicious.