This is a variation on the Cajun favorite made popular by Chef Paul Prudhomme back in the early 1980's. This version is done on the outside griddle atop mesquite coals. Chef Paul typically used red fish, but here I use catfish because it is less expensive and easier to find in the grocery. Of course you can blacken just about anything including your favorite poultry such as chicken, or even cuts of beef such as a rib eye steak. The real trick with doing a good blackening is to have a very hot cast iron skillet or griddle. You should also know that blackening produces a whole lot of smoke, so doing it indoors is sure to set off the smoke alarm, don't ask me how we know! Trust us, there have been too many times where either Monique, Ben or I were waving a big towel, pot handle or the nearest object to blow air on the detector ASAP.
Preparation: Prepare your grill with about 5 lbs. of charcoal and get them really hot, the coals should be white hot. Place a cast iron griddle flat top or skillet over the coals and allow it to get very hot, about 20 minutes. In the mean time coat the catfish filet's with the olive oil then sprinkle the Cajun spice and garlic salt on each side of the catfish. Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes while the coals and griddle are getting hot. Place the catfish with the rounded side down first onto the griddle and allow to cook until the sides start to turn white, about 6-8 minutes, then flip them with a metal spatula and cook another 6-8 minutes until flaky and cooked through. Remove to a serving platter, and serve with rice pilaf and a fresh vegetable.
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