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Word Play

When it comes to food, the term “blackened” is not a descriptor you would typically want to use to describe your dish.  To us, anyways, the word blackened is kind of synonymous with other words like “burnt” or “charred”- doesn’t exactly get your mouth watering, does it?  No, it sort of just leads us to think of another word… “inedible”.

Think about it- blackened cookies, blackened toast, blackened pizza… suddenly you don’t feel well and you’re (cough, cough) “not hungry”, right?

In fact, the term blackened is right up there with words like “wilted”, “fermented” and “sapid” (who knew that word means something tastes good?!?)

Yes, for the most part if your dish is blackened, you probably burnt it and it probably isn’t going to be very, well… sapid.  (There.  We tried using it and we were right- it just sounds weird.)  But there is a time when the term blackened is a good thing.

A very good thing.


If you hear the word blackened in front of the word salmon, you can forget all of your preconceived notions of what you thought the word meant, erase the images swirling in your mind of charred, dried-out fish, and dive in fork-first!


Because this salmon is slammin’! (Sorry- we couldn’t resist!)


But in all seriousness, we may never eat salmon any other way ever again- it was that good.


There are 2 simple steps to creating this mouth-watering dish, and only about 25 minutes until it is on your plate! The secret to perfectly-done blackened salmon (aka-not burnt) is to sear it in the pan and then finish it off in the oven!  That way you get a crispy outer-layer, but a flaky, succulent inside.


Succulent. Now there’s a word we want to hear more of!  Or how about delectable, exquisite, or tantalizing? 


Actually, if there was a word that combines all of those we’d have a dead-ringer!

Delecquitalizing? Tantaquitable? Hmm… maybe we’ll just let the pictures do the talking 😉

Blackened Salmon


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4


1 lb. salmon (you can also use fillets)
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt (or garlic powder + a dash of salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp olive oil


In a small dish, combine all the spices.  Generously coat both sides of the salmon with the spices and gently rub into the flesh.

Preheat the oven to 350F

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat.  Once the pan is hot, place the salmon in the pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the spices are blackened, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes to blacken the other side.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and move fish from the pan onto the baking sheet.  Bake in the centre of the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the salmon is no longer dark pink in the middle and flakes easily with a fork.  Serve with avocado-corn salsa (recipe below).

Avocado-Corn Salsa

Prep: 10 minutes
Makes: ~1 cup


1/2 a large avocado
3/4 c. frozen corn, thawed
1 tomato, diced
1 green onion, diced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp lemon juice


Combine all ingredients in a small dish and serve.


Have you ever had anything that’s been “blackened”? What are your favourite food-descriptor words? (We’re always looking to expand our repertoire ;))

Our Happy Place

Where’s your happy place?

Ours is a place where the temperature never drops below 15 degrees, the sun is shining, there’s a slight breeze coming off the ocean that is steps away from our door, there is always a plentiful supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in season, and they serve fish like this every night of the week:

Blackened, with a delicious sauce and a tonne of veggies! 🙂

The first time we ever had Tilapia it was in the form of a kabob, prepared by a spanish speaking cocinero,  pool side in one of the most beautiful countries we’ve ever been too, Costa Rica.

Everyday, Alexandre would ask us: “Pescado de hoy, señoras?” Alexandre, you know what we like 😉

Tilapia from the Real Canadian Super Store may not be as good as the tilapia off the cost of Playa Longosta, but rub it in enough seasonings and dress it up with roasted red pepper coconut lime sauce, and it’s easy to pretend.

Served over a wild rice and veggie pilaf and wilted greens, and topped with fresh tomatoes, this dish transports us back to our happy place in Costa Rica.  It’s practically as if we are there.  Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Tilapia, cualquier persona?

Blackened Tilapia with a Roasted Red Pepper Coconut Lime Sauce

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 10min

Serves: 5


For the Fish:

5 fillets of tilapia

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tsp of EACH: cinnamon, cumin, paprika

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp black pepper

For the Sauce:

1 roasted red pepper

1/4 c. coconut milk

1 clove of garlic

1/2 tsp Siracha

1 tbsp lime juice

salt and pepper, to taste


For the fish:

Measure all spice ingredients into a dish and stir to combine.

Heat oil (we used coconut) in a non-stick pan over medium high heat.

While the pan is heating, generously sprinkle each side of the fillets with the spice mixture and rub it in. Place the fillets on the pan and cook for about 5 min on each side, or until blackened and fish is cooked through.

For the Sauce:

Put all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Place Fish on a bed of rice and veggies and drizzle with sauce.

-two saucy sisters

Where is your happy place? What takes you there (be it food or otherwise!)?