Preparation / Directions:
NOTE: Fish fillets (preferably redfish, pompano or tilefish) cut about 1/2 inch thick. Redfish and pompano are ideal for this method of cooking. If tilefish is used, you may have to split the fillets in half horizontally to have proper thickness. If you can't get any of these fish, salmon steaks or red snapper fillets can be substituted. In any case, the fillets or steaks must not be more than 3/4 inch thick.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over very high heat until it is beyond the smoking stage and you see white ash in the skillet bottom (the skillet cannot be too hot for this dish), at least 10 minutes. (FT - this recipe is *NOT* for the faint of heart)
Meanwhile, pour 2 Tablespoons melted butter in each of 6 small ramekins; set aside and keep warm. Reserve the remaining butter in its skillet. Heat the serving plates in a 250F oven.
Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. Dip each fillet in the reserved melted butter so that both sides are well coated; then sprinkle seasoning mix generously and evenly on both sides of the fillets, patting by hand. Place in the hot skillet and pour 1 teaspoon melted butter on top of each fillet (be careful, as the butter may flame up).
Cook, uncovered, over the same high heat until the underside looks charred, about 2 minutes (the time will vary according to the fillet's thickness and the heat of the skillet). Turn the fish over and again pour 1 teaspoon butter on top; cook until fish is done, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with remaining fillets. Serve each fillet while piping hot.
To serve, place one fillet and a ramekin of butter on each heated serving plate. I had this in K Pauls Restaurant in New Orleans. It is a taste experience you will never forgive yourself for missing should you ever be lucky enough to find yourself in N'awlins and you don't go to K Paul's and order this. Even people who don't like fish love this dish. From Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc. ISBN 0-688-