I have a recipe that I've been reeeaally wanting to share since I made the dish last week, but I thought I should wait until all of my blog drama was over. That time is here (okay, again, *seems to be* here... don't want to jinx myself), so I can now bring you: cajun blackened mahi over spicy "refried" black beans.
I've been on a blackened fish kick over the past few months. It's such a simple way to prepare fish (got 10 minutes and some spices?) and I love the combination of a flaky, tender inside and crispy, slightly charred outside crust.
Often, I'll put blackened fish on a bun with a creamy dill sauce and lemon (that is definitely Ryan's favorite), but I wanted to try something different last week. For one thing, we didn't have bread... we didn't have much of anything, actually. The fridge and cabinets were looking pretty bare. But of course, I had canned beans. Why not complement the spicy cajun style of the fish with a spicy black bean mash? They taste like a flavorful black bean version of refried beans, but I took some major shortcuts (i.e., we don't really "re-fry" the beans) and it's ready in no time.
This is a simple, flavorful, and healthy dinner that's ready in no time. Full of protein and fiber, flavorful, and spicy. Here's how to make it:
Add your spices: 1/2 teaspoon chile powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/8 tsp cayenne.
Stir and bring to a boil.
Then, cover and reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes while you prepare the fish.
Time to prepare the fish. First, make your spice mix. Combine 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp chile powder.
Melt 1.5 tbsp of butter and brush it over both sides of your mahi filets.
Sprinkle your spice mixture all over both sides of the fish until well-covered.
We're gonna place the fish in a VERY hot cast iron skillet. Then don't touch it for at least 5 minutes!
At that point, flip.
And cook until the fish is browned on the other side as well, and all the way cooked through. It should be able to flake apart easily if you insert a fork into it. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
The beans should be about ready now. Remove the cover and mash the beans to your desired consistency with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.
Scoop the beans onto your plates and top with a piece of the blackened fish. Yum!
"Refried" Black Beans
For 2-3 servings
-1 can low-sodium black beans
-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1/4 - 1/2 onion, diced
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/2 teaspoon chile powder
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/8 - 1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/8 tsp cayenne
-Drain most of the liquid out of the black beans can, but not all (and don't rinse the beans under water).
-Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté the onion for 4-5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or so.
-Pour in the beans. Add all spices. Stir. Bring to a boil. Then, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
-Once the beans are soft, mash with the back of a spoon or a potato masher until desired consistency is reached.
Cajun Blackened Mahi Mahi
For 2 servings
-Two 6-8 oz. fresh mahi filets (skin removed), dried with paper towels
-1.5 tbsp butter, melted
-1/2 tsp thyme
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-1/4 tsp onion powder
-1/8 tsp cayenne
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp chile powder
-Heat a heavy-bottomed, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for at least 7-10 minutes, until hot and beginning to smoke.
-Meanwhile, combine all spices in a bowl.
-Brush the butter over both sides of the mahi filets. Then, sprinkle the spice mixture all over both sides until well-covered.
-Once the pan is hot, add the fish. Don't touch for about 5 minutes. Then, flip. Cook for about 5 minutes on the other side, or until both sides are browned and the fish is cooked through and flaky.