Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Broiled Cajun Tilapia with Pontchartrain Sauce

Chef John's Recipe of the Month from Mercy Chefs

Broiled Cajun Tilapia with Pontchartrain Sauce

For the Tilapia
  • Tilapia fillets
  • Fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
  • Olive oil
  • Your favorite Cajun seasoning (I use Chef Paul Prudhomme's Blackend Redfish Magic )
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Preheat your oven to broil. Line the top of a broiler pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray
  • Gently pat the fillets dry with a paper towel
  • Sprinkle each fillet with kosher salt and black pepper. You may want to taste your cajun seasoning for salt to get an idea of how much kosher salt to use.
  • Place the fillets on your prepared broiler pan
  • Squeeze a little bit of lemon juice over the top of each fillet - they don’t need to be drenched - and then pat the fillets a bit to put the salt & pepper back into place
  • Cover the top of each fillet with your cajun seasoning in a thin, even layer
  • Sparingly drizzle olive oil over top of each fillet (think abstract art splatters rather than full coverage)
  • Broil about 4 inches below the flame or heating element for 7-8 minutes, until the fish is opaque and basically falls apart
For the Pontchartrain Sauce:

  • tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • stalk celery, diced
  • small onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 3.5 oz Periel Capers

    2oz Artichoke Hearts Diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Creole Mustard
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (I use a Pinot Grigio for this sauce but if you are opposed to purchasing wine you can buy a cooking wine at the grocery store)
  • tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ounces lump crabmeat
  • 2 Palm Hearts, sliced
  • ounces Roasted Red Peppers Diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the remaining 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces and refrigerate. Add the Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, garlic, celery, onions, capers, artichoke hearts, palm hearts and bell peppers to the skillet, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they have released their juices, 10 minutes. Add the mustard and stir to coat. Pour in the wine and cook until almost completely absorbed, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup of water, and then add the roasted red peppers, shrimp, and crabmeat. Simmer until the shrimp are pink, 5 minutes.
Whisk in the cold butter pieces, one piece at a time, whisking until each piece melts before adding another. Stir in half of the chopped parsley and the lemon juice just before serving.

Ladle over Broiled Tilapia. Serve with your favorite seasonal vegetables and dirty rice. 

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