Guide Dale Collins likes to prepare fish for meals, especially redfish, and the one fish he can keep daily (between 18 and 27 inches) will do fine for his two favorite ways to cook them: blackened or grilled.
He grills redfish two different ways. He’ll coat fillets — with the skin removed — with olive oil, then places them in a bowl to keep overnight in a refrigerator.
“When I’m ready to cook, I rub Cajun Red Drum seasoning or Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning on the fillets,” he said.
The next step is to set burners at medium heat (350-400 degrees), place the fillets on the grill and cook for 2 to 21/2 minutes, depending on thickness. When the fish begins to flake easily, it’s done. You can put heavy duty aluminum foil on the grill’s grates,if you choose.
The other approach includes using four tablespoons of vegetable oil, salt and cayenne pepper to taste, one stick of butter, one cup of fresh lemon or lime juice, two tablespoons of white wine, two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and one teaspoon of paprika.
“I rub the fillets with oil, salt and cayenne pepper, melt the butter in a small pan with lemon or lime juice, Worcestershire sauce and paprika, stir, then remove from the heat,” he said. “Then I put the fillets, scales down, in the pan over medium fire. I dab them with sauce, close the grill lid and cook two to three minutes. I dab with sauce a second time, then close the lid and cook three to five minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
“I dribble the remaining sauce over the fish just before I serve it.”
For blackened redfish Collins uses four fillets of 8 to 10 ounces total weight.
He first creates a sauce using one stick of butter, 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika, then one teaspoon each of salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, white pepper, black pepper, dried thyme leaves and dried oregano leaves.
He melts the butter and sets it aside, then mixes the dry ingredients, dips each fillet in the melted butter, then pats the mixed seasonings by hand into each side of each fillet.
He puts the fillets in a hot, blackened skillet and drizzles a teaspoon of melted butter on each fillet.
“The butter may flame up, so be careful,” he said.
Cook the fillets uncovered on high heat until the fish flakes.