Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise


Hello my friends and welcome to another edition of Food Star Friday. I really love doing these segments. One because well, I just love to cook, and two because the pressure is off of me. Seriously, I love coming up with great recipes for everyone to enjoy, but when I do Food Star Friday I get to try recipes by known food stars and critique them. I don’t know, maybe it just makes me feel important. Silly I guess, but for awhile I had thought about doing a restaurant review blog. I just realized, even though reviewing would be fun, I love cooking waaaaaay more. I would be more interested in figuring out what was in each dish so I could recreate it at home.

Anyway, if this is your first time here, on Food Star Friday I cook a recipe from a well known food star and then give my (and my tasters) review of that recipe. This week I did a Paula Deen recipe. I know Paula has gotten a bad rap in the press lately about her diabetes and unhealthy cooking practices, but I have always been a Paula fan. So I wanted to try one of her recipes that was more on the healthy side so I could share my love for her as well as my love for healthy food. I feel this recipe does just that.

I have never blackened anything before. Well at least not on purpose (having flashbacks of some wicked smoke alarm fiascoes), so I was a bit nervous to see how I would do. I was sure that the fish would burn and/or stick to the skillet because it didn’t call for any oil in the pan. But Paula knows her stuff! Thank goodness it was Food Star Friday and I know I have to stick strictly to the recipe or just might have ruined the whole thing. I realized afterward that the fish would have fried in the oil and not blackened.

My other fear was setting off my smoke alarm. I did open my kitchen window as a preemptive move, but the alarm stayed pleasantly quiet through out the cooking process (which made my dogs very happy).

I did have to pick up a few specialty items for this recipe. I didn’t have sweet paprika, only regular and smoked. I did a bit of searching on the internet about the difference and realized that the flavor profile would be different if I used anything but sweet so on the list it went. I also did not have ground thyme or ground red pepper. It also calls for store bought mango salsa. I would have personally loved to use my Sweet and Spicy Peach Salsa, and if I  make this again I will do just that. But I was following the recipe word for word so I wanted to find a quality salsa. I found a brand called Susan’s All Natural Gourmet Mango Salsa. It was fantastic!! I want to try to recreate it.

I can happily tell you that this was a hit with 3 of my tasters. One barely made a positive ID check on it before he inhaled it completely! So it was 4 thumbs up with this meal. YAY I love it when that happens!!

Blackened Tilapia Sandwich with Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 4 Kaiser buns, split, buttered and toasted
  • Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise, recipe follows
  • Store-bought mango salsa

In a shallow dish, combine first 6 ingredients.
Pour melted butter into another shallow dish. Dip fish fillets in melted butter and coat with seasoning mixture.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook prepared fish, in batches if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Spread Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise evenly over toasted buns. Place blackened fish on bottom half of bun, top with mango salsa, and cover with top half of bun.

Cilantro Lime Mayonnaise:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and chill.


About Bobbi Burleson

Mom to 2 kiddos and one little Westhighland Terrier. A So Cal girl at heart, I now live with my boyfriend/sous chef in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I am a writer, recipe developer, photographer, and lover of wildlife, the out of doors, and scrapbooking. My philosophy is to hold those you love close and enjoy each and every moment you can. Oh, and eat mac and cheese, you can never have too much mac and cheese!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s