Casting to Cast Iron

By Jay Potter

We enjoy sharing our experiences catching fish in KC Kayaks, so we thought we’d also take y’all inside the KC kitchen and show you how we put those fish on the dinner table.

So here is the first installment of “Casting to Cast Iron.” Hope everyone enjoys, please share feedback on any attempts or variations on our recipe.

Here's the fish at all three stages of the process. Notice the slight brown on the outside of the cooked fish. You don't want much more color than that for this recipe, we're not blackening today!

The Menu:

Pan-fried Louisiana Redfish fillets under a white wine and cream sauce with Cajun sausage, sauteed peppers, onions, garlic and herbs. Served with a spring mix salad with home grown tomatoes, red onion and a light garlic balsamic vinaigrette dressing. And as you can see from the pictures, everyone need grab his or her beverage of choice. Thanks to Corey and Katherine for the chef’s work and the kitchen!

You will need…

Cast Iron is a staple in our kitchens.

Cookware:

  • Two good-sized burners
  • Two skillets. Preferably one cast iron for the fish, and one sauce pan for the sauce. But just go with whatever you’ve got, it’ll be delicious!

 

Look at those fresh, tasty Pointe A La Hache Reds.

Fish:

  • 2 x 20″ redfish fillets. Cut into small portions. (Don’t have redfish? Try black drum, any kind of trout, bass or any other white fish.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (We prefer Zatarin’s brand because it has less salt, but any kind will work.)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground black pepper
  • Canola oil (Enough just to coat the pan and to add a little more if some cooks off)

 

Herbs add that unmistakable "fresh" taste to the dish.

Home grown peppers and tomatoes from Corey and Katherine's garden.

Sauce:

  • 1 whole link of Cajun sausage thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 bell peppers various colors chopped
  • 1 and 1/4 onion chopped
  • 3 and 1/2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • One pint heavy cream
  • One cup white wine
  • One 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • Basil, parsley and oregano chopped (as much or as little as you’d like)
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Chop them however much or however little you'd like. They'll cook down enough.

You’ll prepare the sauce first so the veggies have time to cook down and let some of the liquid cook off. Then prepare a nice big salad and set that aside. Once your sauce is ready, the fish only take a matter of minutes and it’s dinner time.

To get started:

  1. Brown sausage in butter.
  2. Stir in peppers first, then onions, then garlic.
  3. Cook on medium to medium high for 7-8 minutes, stirring fairly often.
  4. Add tomatoes and white wine.

    A nice deep red color from the sausage and the tomatoes.

  5. Cook on medium for 5 minutes.
  6. Add 1 pint heavy cream, reduce heat slightly and let it go for about 3 minutes.

    There's the color change.

  7. Add basil and oregano and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Stir it up and keep it on for about 4 minutes on just under medium.

    Now that we've got all our colors in there...

  8. Reduce to low and simmer 3 minutes.
  9. Cover and turn the burner as low as it will go.
  10. Let it cook down for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    The finished product.

  11. About this time, turn your cast iron on at low-medium low to preheat.
  12. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Stir and recover.

Redfish fillets with the Cajun seasoning and black pepper. Not too much oil in the pan.

And now for the fish. The biggest thing here is not to over cook. You can always try a test piece or two to make sure that you 1) have the cast iron at the right temperature, and 2) have the right amount of oil in the pan.

  1. Coat your cast iron lightly in canola oil. Set it to medium high.

    The red part of the fillet turn brown and the white gets a little color.

  2. One it has had time to heat. Drop in a tester piece of fish.
  3. Cook fish until slightly browned and just cooked through.
  4. Then go ahead with the rest of the fish, but DON’T OVERLOAD THE PAN.
  5. Turn up sauce to simmer nicely for serving.
  6. Serve Redfish fillets, top with sauce, garnish with a liberal about of parsley.
  7. Prepare a salad and set the table.

Good ruffage, some juicy home grown tomatoes with a nicely acidic homemade dressing to cut the richness of the cream sauce.

One last word on the sauce. There are several options here. We merely doused our redfish in sauce and set to work. It is not the thickest sauce, so certainly add flour if you prefer a thicker sauce. Or go ahead and serve it over rice. Or (my personal favorite) butter up some fresh french bread and use that as a “pusher” to make sure you get every last little bit.

Here it is, "Coghlan's Redfish Sauce Monster!"

Bon Appetite,

KC Kayaks

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