Someone asked me recently for more “real food” recipes. The meals I make at home always seem so simple. I wonder if I should even be posting them. It is all about preparation. That does not necessarily mean exact meal planning. But if you have precooked meat on hand, there are hundreds of dinners you can make in a matter of minutes (See here for one idea). I have embraced southern/coastal living in full force since moving to North Carolina. I am blackening everything. There is a misconception that blackened seasoning has to be spicy. You should make your own blackened seasoning, calibrate it to your level of spice. Decrease or increase the cayenne in this recipe to your taste.
Blackened seasoning is traditionally used for fish. Typically you would dip the fish in melted butter, then dredge it in blackened seasoning, and cook in a cast iron skillet. You can use this for pretty much any meat: chicken, steak, shrimp, scallops, pork, all varieties of fish. And you don’t have to use cast iron, this will work especially well with grilled foods. Once you try this seasoning recipe, you will be doubling and tripling so that you always have some on hand. If you are already lighting the grill for dinner, you should blacken some chicken or shrimp and throwing that on the grill too. You will have it ready to serve over pasta, with jambalaya, or in a casserole. With your blackened dishes (whether it is chicken or seafood) serve El Prado Tempranillo Cabernet from Spain. This has to be the best wine you can by for $5.99. This is a medium bodied red wine, 70% tempranillo and 30% cabernet sauvignon.