Tim Schafer is the owner of a casual fine dining establishment in Sherrill’s Ford, NC. The nationally recognized Chef is currently working on his first cookbook. Chef Schafer shares this mouth watering recipe with us.

Tim Schafer’s Bayou Blackened Catfish Fillets
One of my favorite fish to blacken is a fresh catfish fillet. The sweetness of the fish is perfect to season with blackening spices. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets. The best way to preheat the skillet and blacken the fish is outside on the grill. Trust me on this one! Heat the pan at least ten minutes over high heat, and don’t forget to clean the grill first! (Shrimp, scallops, or any firm fleshed fish can also be blackened.) For catfish, you will need:

  • 1 8 oz catfish fillet per person
  • vegetable oil
  • blackening spice (see recipe, below)

Preheat a ten inch cast iron skillet until very hot. Brush each fillet with vegetable oil. Sprinkle blackening spice evenly on both sides. Place fillets in a hot skillet and blacken each side for 6 to 8 minutes or until the fish is firm. Use a spatula to turn the fish and to remove it from the pan.

Tim Schafer’s Cajun Blackening Spice
Blackening is a standard cooking technique that depends on two very important factors – a hot cast-iron skillet and a good blackening spice. The skillet sears-in the flavor as it chars the spices. The heat of your blend depends on the amount and type of spices you use. Habanero or chipotle powder will add an extra kick.

Following, is a basic medium hot blend, although you can substitute a store-bought product if you prefer. You can use this versatile spice blend on just about any grilled fish or meat. This recipe will make about two ounces of spice blend which should be kept in a shaker for use or in an airtight container for storage. Feel free to increase the recipe proportionately.

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Blend all the ingredients thoroughly. For a finer blend, use a food processor

For more information about Tim Schafer’s at Lake Norman, including catering and special occasions, visit http://www.tslkn.com/ or call (704) 483-9127.