Blackened Drum

In Entrees, Recipes, Seafood by Robert Irvine

IngredientsSweet Potatoes:2 tablespoons grapeseed oil2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced1/4 cup molasses1 teaspoon chili powder1 pinch cayenne pepperKosher salt and freshly ground black pepperGreen Beans:Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper2 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed2 tablespoons unsalted butterJuice of 1 lemonBlackened Drum:1 cup Cajun blackening spice1 tablespoon kosher salt, if needed6 skinless black drum fillets1/4 cup grapeseed oilHerb Butter, recipe follows, for servingHerb Butter:1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature1/4 cup lemon juice plus 2 tablespoons lemon zest2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsleyKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper DirectionsFor the sweet potatoes: Heat a large skillet over high heat until smoking hot. Add the grapeseed oil and then the sweet potatoes. Allow the potatoes to sear for 2 to 3 minutes and then turn the heat down to medium. Toss the sweet potatoes and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the molasses, chili powder and cayenne and toss to coat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.For the green beans: Bring a large pot of water (seasoned with 2 tablespoons salt per gallon of water) to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath to shock the beans. Add about one-quarter of the beans to the boiling water (you don’t want to add so many beans that the water loses the boil) and cook until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the beans from the water with a skimmer and shock in the ice bath. Repeat until all of the beans are cooked. Remove the beans from the ice bath and dry with a towel.Heat a large skillet over high heat. Melt the butter and then add the green beans. Saute the green beans until tender and slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.For the blackened drum: Combine the blackening spice and salt, reducing or omitting the salt as needed (taste the spice mix first as some brands already have salt added). Spread the spice mixture on a plate and coat each side of the fish fillets.Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the grapeseed oil, gently lay the fish in the skillet and sear until the spices have blackened and formed a nice crust on the fish, 3 to 4 minutes. Gently flip the fish and sear on the second side for 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from the pan and allow the fillets to rest for a few minutes before plating.For serving: Mound some of the sweet potatoes in the centers of 6 plates. Place the green beans on top of the sweet potatoes and then top each plate with a fillet of fish. Top the fish with some Herb Butter and serve while the butter is melting over the hot fish.Herb Butter:Combine the butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Yield: about 1 pound.