Blackened Red Snapper

Photo: John Blais

A spice rub with paprika, oregano, thyme, and pepper coats these fillets for a major flavor boost.


  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, or Italian oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Six 4-ounce red-snapper fillets, with skin

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. In a small bowl, combine the paprika,oregano, thyme, cayenne, sugar, 1 teaspoonsalt, and black pepper. Set spicemixture aside.

  2. Place the fillets on a clean, dry work surface, skin side up, and cut 3 to 4 shallow slits across skin to keep it from curling up while cooking. Turn fillets over, and sprinkle the top of each fillet with a heaping teaspoon of the reserved spice mixture; pat gently with hands to make spice mixture stick. Cover, and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a heavy skillet.When hot, but not smoking, add half thefillets, seasoned side down. Cook untilwell browned, about 2 minutes. Flip; cookuntil fish is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutesmore. Carefully wipe skillet with apaper towel. Repeat with remaining oiland fillets; serve.

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