I recently visited our cabin on the Oregon Coast. Built by my grandparents in 1967, our humble lil' A-Frame has been a treasured retreat location for my family for over fifty years. It ain't fancy - far from it - but it's ours.
I went to the beach for a break. All this talk of COVID-19 and sky high unemployment just had me feeling down, ya'know? Maybe it's the salt water, or the sweet smell of all that fresh air, but the ocean just has the most magical recharging affect. You just feel better when you're there. Armed with all my favorite sweatshirts, leggings and cozy socks, I packed up two big bags of groceries and loads of good wine, and made the three our trek to Yachats to unwind, relax and COOK for a week.
Confession: Cooking is my stress reliever. Smashing garlic, beating eggs, slicing vegetables, pounding meat...I mean, come on. Cooking even sounds like a good way to work out some of those built-up emotions. And that was my plan: work out my feelings and make some kick-ass food.
First off: major shout-out to the best fish market on the Oregon Coast: Luna Sea Fish House. Located in the heart of downtown Yachats, this lil' fish house has been serving up the freshest fillets for...well, a long time. Don't even get me started on their fish n' chips - that's a whole other story...
Anyway, I bought the most gorgeous salmon filet (caught fresh THAT MORNING bee-tee-dubs) - currently kicking myself for not snapping a pic! - and headed to the cabin to make one of my favorites: blackened salmon.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, blackened fish has always been on my list of "must-have" meals. A little bit spicy...a little bit smokey...a whole lot of delicious. I started making my own blackened fish a few years back. It might sound scary, but blackening fish is quick and oh, so easy. The spice mix is also made up of common ingredients you can find in your pantry and who doesn't love that?! Per my dad, another big-time blackened fish aficionado, this recipe is "UNbelievable."
I always like to pair my salmon with a nice salad, too. Check out my Couscous with Arugula + Goat Cheese Salad! It's a good one!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Blackened Salmon + Seasoning
1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp Fresh Oregano (Washed + Chopped)
1 1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme (Washed + Chopped)
1 tsp Cayenne
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pinch of Black Pepper
3-4 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Salmon Fillet, skin on (1-1.5 lbs)
For the Salmon:
Prepare your blackening mix by mixing the Cajun seasoning, paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne and salt together in small mixing bowl. I find that a whisk works well to fully combine everything together but a fork works, too!
Pour the seasoning mixture onto a large cutting board or onto a large plate. Place the salmon, fresh side down, onto the mixture and coat the salmon with the seasoning. Make sure the seasoning spreads evenly and covers the entire flesh side of the fillet. Don't worry about the skin side.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat on the stove and add the oil. You want the oil to get SUPER hot, to the point that it begins to smoke.
Once smoking, turn off the heat to the burner, and add your fillet, flesh side down. Turn the heat back on, and cook 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through to your liking. (A thicker piece of fillet will take longer to cook)
Using a spatula, carefully flip the salmon to the other side and cook the skin until it's crispy, about 5-6 minutes.
Special Note: you can sub salmon for any kind of fish and can even do multiple fish steaks as opposed to one large fillet!