Blackened Catfish with Lemon Rosemary Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You MUST cook this dish outdoors on a gas grill or outdoor burner.
Recipe by:
Serves: 4
Blackening Spice
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter
  • 4 large (6 to 8 ounces each) catfish fillets, preferably wild-caught
  • 8 (1 tablespoon each) pats of unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 8 lemon slices
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Blackening Spice
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend. Pour into an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 6 months.
  1. On an outdoor gas grill or propane (or butane) burner, preheat a seasoned cast-iron skillet until very hot (this will take about 10 minutes).
  2. Brush both sides of the fillets with melted butter and coat with blackening seasoning.
  3. Add 2 pats of butter to the skillet and let melt. Using a large spatula, add a catfish fillet to the hot skillet and let cook on the first side for 1 minute (or a bit longer if your fillet is thicker) without moving. Gently turn the fish over and cook on the other side until done, about 1 minute, and remove to a platter to keep warm. Wipe the skillet clean and repeat until all the fish is cooked.
  4. Lower the heat on the skillet and add the wine, lemon juice, and fresh rosemary along with the lemon slices. Bring to a simmer and reduce the wine by half, about 5 minutes.
  5. For serving, add a blackened catfish fillet to a plate and spoon over the sauce along with 2 of the lemon slices. Garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig.
This spice recipe has moderate heat; if you like it hotter then add more cayenne. Look for Worcestershire powder or buy it online at my favorite spice store My Spice Sage here. Or for convenience, feel free to use your favorite store-bought Cajun/Creole spice rub. When I say “very hot” skillet, I mean screaming, scorching, searing hot skillet. I use catfish, but any flaky, white boneless fish fillets (redfish, flounder, trout, etc) will work deliciously. The fish fillets should be uniform in thickness and not too thick; the thickness will dictate how long it will take to cook; the fish will flake easily when done. Use the largest cast-iron skillet you have and you should be able to cook more than one fillet at a time. A well-seasoned skillet will prevent sticking, but once the fish hits the iron, do not move it around, or it may break up. In between cooking each fillet, be sure to use a spatula to scrape up any bits and pieces, and wipe the skillet clean so that it doesn't burn.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at