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Blackened Salmon: A Tribute to Paul Prudhomme

American cuisine lost one of its most influential chefs this month, when Paul Prudhomme passed away at age 75 in New Orleans.

A sharecropper’s son from Saint Landry Parish, La., Prudhomme brought rural Louisiana’s Cajun cooking to the world. He began to make his name with these dishes at the New Orleans institution Commander’s Palace, then opened K-Paul with his first wife and went on to international fame.

Without Prudhomme, most of us would likely never have heard of sweet-potato pecan pie, blackened redfish or Emeril Lagasse, a Prudhomme protege.

Prudhomme’s recipe for blackened redfish, a saltwater species also known as red drum, became so popular in the 1970s that the Gulf Coast’s commercial fishery was closed in order to allow the fish to recover.

Today, if you hanker to try this dish at home, you can find farmed redfish or grab your fishing rod and angle for some of the rebounding saltwater stock.

Or you can blacken another kind of fish. The principles are the same: A spicy buttering, a well-heated pan, a mouthwatering fillet. We like salmon for this dish.

Get the recipe: »» Blackened Salmon