The sustainable lionfish is heart-healthy and high in omega-3 fats. When cooked to a white, translucent stage, its firm, light-textured taste is similar to a small grouper fillet or mahi mahi but with one notable catch: a hint of butter.
4 lionfish fillets
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or a little less for a milder taste
4 tablespoons butter, cubed and divided
(additional melted butter for coating fillets)
CREAMY CAPER SLAW
½ cup Hellman’s mayonnaise, reduced fat or light
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
¾ package of classic coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage equivalent, thinly sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons capers, drained
celery seed to taste
Salt and pepper to taste or use freshly squeezed lemon juice to brighten the flavor
CUMIN-LIME CRÈME FRAICHE
½ cup crème fraiche
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp. finely ground cumin
(Toast the seeds in a small pan until fragrant, then grind to a fine texture.)
Pinch of salt
Juice and zest of 1 lime
COOK THE LIONFISH
Preheat grill or heat oven to 400 degrees. Make four 10-by- 10-inch aluminum squares.
Set aside. Combine the spices in a s hallow bowl. Dip the lionfish fillets in melted butter. Dust both sides of each fillet liberally with spice mix. Place the fillets on each aluminum foil package. Top the fillets with the butter cubes. Tightly wrap to form four packages.
Place on the grill or cook in the oven for 6 minutes until fish is flaky and translucent in color. You can also use a cast iron skillet to pan-sear the fillets in melted butter that turns brown. Using this method, cook the fillet two minutes per side. (Just make sure your pan is hot and your stove’s exhaust fan is on.)
PREPARE THE CAPER SLAW
Whisk together the mayonnaise, milk, white vinegar and sugar to a creamy stage. Place the shredded cabbage in a separate bowl; pour the mayonnaise mixture over the top.
Add thinly sliced onions and capers; toss lightly to blend. Season the slaw with celery seed, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
PREPARE THE CUMIN-LIME CRÈME FRAICHE
Combine all ingredients together. Adjust the lime juice to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Purchase any good soft sandwich or slider roll. Using a slotted spoon, plate the blackened lionfish on the roll, add the creamy caper slaw and top with a dollop of cumin-lime crème fraiche. Enjoy!