Tom Mills sent me this seasoning recipe and I like it! So far I've used it on catfish and skinless chicken breasts. It's a nice way to spice up food when you're on a diet as I am, and great even if you're not. Shortly after I tried it, the New York Daily News (7/24/96) had an article in the food section on a healthier method now being used in top NYC restaurants to prepare meat, fish, and poultry... "spice crusts." And that's what Tom's seasoning is!

(Source: Tom Mills, Phoenix, Arizona)
2 tsp paprika
4 tsp thyme (leaf)
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 to 1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (as you like)
1 tsp oregano (leaf)
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Place all ingredients in a jar and store in a cool dark place. Shake jar well before each use.

  1. Here is the quickest and easiest way to make it. On low heat, melt about 3T of butter or margarine in a non stick frying pan (enough butter to cover fish and the bottom of the pan). As soon as the butter is melted, place the fish in the pan, flipping it over to cover both sides with butter. Then generously coat the fish with the seasoning, flip over again and coat the other side with seasoning.
  2. Now turn up the heat to med-high and cook on one side until blackened and somewhat crispy. Flip over and cook the other side. If you need to add a little more butter, don't be shy.
  3. Try not to continually flip over and over. You can take a peek occasionally to determine when to flip it over. NOTES:
    From Tom: For Blacked fish or chicken (great on any type of fish, especially on denser types of fish). The nice thing about this recipe is that the dish doesn't taste burnt even though you can get a nice blackened look. The sugar and the thyme carmelize and give it a wonderful flavor. All my friends love it. From Sue: If you substitute ground thyme and/or oregano, reduce the quantity since the ground herbs are more potent than the leaf forms. To help the crust stay on, make sure to use sufficient butter or oil for frying and as Tom wrote, don't flip the meat over and over. This method will work best with thin cuts that heat through faster, especially when cooking with butter which can burn.

    Updated: July 26, 1996
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