Blackened Crappie with Mashed Parsley Yams

After reading lots of great fan suggestions on our facebook page, this is what we came up with: blackened crappie on a bed of parsley mashed yams, topped off with lemon sage butter. This recipe turned out fantastic! Since crappie is such a mild flavored fish, it took to the seasonings very well. And the mashed sweet potatoes had a sweet, nutty flavor that added a nice balance to the bold blackened seasonings. Because we were trying to beat the sunset, we didn't have time to add a crunchy element to this dish. We suggest you serve some kind of crunchy green like broccoli or green beans to complement the textures of the fish and mashed yams. Thanks to Leigh Ann Gaskill for suggesting that we blacken the crappie. What a fantastic idea!

Since we defrosted more fish than we could eat, we will be doing a second recipe with crappie sometime during the week. Another facebook fan, Kirk Reimer, gave us a great idea that has to do with cheese. Cheese! Who doesn't like cheese?

Servings: 2
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 6 crappie filets
- 1/4 cup paprika 
- 2 tbs. ground thyme
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- 3 tbs. unsalted butter, divided (1 and 2)
- 2 large yams
- 1 tsp. chopped parsley, fresh or dried
Lemon Sage Butter Compound
- 3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated
- 1 tbs. lemon juice
- 1 tbs. shallot, minced
- 1 1/2 tbs. fresh sage, finely chopped

1. Bake the yams in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes, or until tender. Scrape out the insides and mix in parsley. You can do this ahead of time and reheat in the microwave, or time it so the fish and yams come out at the same time.

2. Make the Lemon Sage Butter: Combine the sage, shallot, zest and lemon juice into 3 tbs. of unsalted butter. Mix well.

3. Put the compound butter on a sheet of plastic wrap. 
4. Roll into a cylinder, and twist the ends. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to re-harden.

This stuff is great because you can use it on anything or put any kind of herbs you personally like in it. You can also freeze for later.

5. The fish: In a small sauce pan, melt 1 tbs. of butter.

Combine paprika, ground thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper in a shallow dish. 

Allow the butter to cool for a few minutes, and then dip the fish in the melted butter...
...and then coat with the seasoning mixture. 
6. Heat 2 tbs. of butter in a large pan over medium-high heat, and cook fish for about 3-4 minutes each side, or until flaky. 

Don't worry if the seasoning looks like it's burning. You're not doing anything wrong. The combination of seasonings is supposed to turn black when cooked, hence the word "blackened."

Serve with mashed sweet potatoes and your choice of greens for a crunchy contrast. Spread the lemon sage compound butter on top of the hot fish.

Enjoy! The bright orange color, greens and black just screams Halloween. :-)

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