Blackened Red Snapper Tacos

snapperWhen someone offers you fresh caught Florida Red Snapper, you NEVER turn it down. A friend of mine’s daughter, Katie, and her fiancée caught “more than they could eat” 3 miles from the Destin Pass on the Florida panhandle. The snappers ranged from 6-10 pounds, the largest being 12 lbs! They were in about 70 feet of water and took live bait like cigar minnows and small pinfish.

This Galley Pirate was happy to take some of that “too much fish” off their hands!




Fresh fish deserves the freshest of ingredients. Today we blackened this fish and served with a corn, black bean and avocado salsa. The fillets can be served atop the salsa, or cut into bite sized pieces and placed in taco shells along with the salsa. We also had some non-fish eaters today so we blacked some flank steak as well.

blackened snapper served

Corn, Black Bean & Avocado Salsa

For a print-friendly recipe see below.

4 ears of corn or two cups frozen or canned corn kernels
2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered
1 medium red onion
1 can black beans
2 avocados, cut into 1/2″ chucks
1 tablespoon cilantro

Rind of 1 lime
Juice from one line
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons spicy mustard (Fisher’s Famous Crab House Mustard if you can find it)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
fresh black pepper

filtered water

Your sailboat probably has countless pumps and filters. But my favorite filter of all (if a person really wanted to rank their filters in order of preference) is a fresh water filter. Being able to drink water directly from your tanks saves time, money and LOTS of space. I’ve seen provisioning for offshore cruises where about 4 square feet of space is taken up with heavy bottled water. And it never goes away. You’re left with pretty much the same amount of trash, plus the totally annoying sounds of crew members crunching their plastic bottles. Which almost becomes a sport.

corn in pot

Bring your corn to a boil in a big pot of water. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then take off the heat and drain. I cooked 6 ears, but really only needed 4. Save the rest for another meal.


Cut the corn kernels off the cobs once cool enough to handle.

chopped onion

Finely chop a red onion.


Quarter your grape tomatoes. I know this seems a little fussy and time consuming, but tomatoes cut in this fashion helps keep the insides in tack. Makes for a much better presentation. : )

rinsed beans

Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Combine these four ingredients above in a large bowl. Then chop up your avocados and carefully fold into the rest of the vegetables. Set aside while you make the salsa dressing.

lime zest

Take the rind off one whole lime. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients.


If you can find some Crab House Mustard, use it. And use it on sandwiches too. I guarantee it’s the best mustard you’ll ever have. Challenge on…!

crab house mustard

Blend the dressing into the vegetable salsa, add the chopped cilantro and set aside while you prepare the fish.

Blackened Red Snapper


2 large fresh snapper fillets
1 jar of blackening seasoning such as Zatarain’s, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s, Tony Chachere’s …the list goes on. Or you can make your own using garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, paprika, lots of cayenne, white pepper, black pepper and sea salt.

snapper fillets

Season your fillets all over with the Creole Blackening seasoning.

Add a small amount of canola oil to a sturdy cast iron pan and rotate to cover. Light your burner, set on high and heat the pan until smoking hot. Place your fillets on the HOT HOT pan and sear for 4 minutes.

frying snappers

With a metal spatula, flip the fillets over and sear the other side. Done. Serve the fillets on a plate with the salsa and some greens as shown a few photos above.

fish tacos 2

Or heat up some corn tortillas, cut the fish into smaller pieces and place the fillets and salsa into the tacos. Very yummy (but admittedly a little messy!)

blackened steak frying 1

We also made some blackened steak tacos using the same dry seasoning. Coat your steaks in the seasoning, heat you cast iron pan up to smokin’ hot, and sear until your desired “done-ness.”

blackened steak frying 2

The time will very greatly depending on the thickness of the steak. These were about 1×2″ flank steaks and I seared them about 6 minutes on each side. We tend to like our meat a little on the rare side in this galley.

blackened steak

Once done to you liking, slice against the grain and place in your taco shells.

blackened steak tacos 


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