Cajun Bronzed Scallops

Cajun Bronzed Scallops

I love pan-blackened seafood, the Louisiana technique for pan-searing proteins, but making it at home jeopardizes my family’s safety. The red hot pan is a serious hazard with children in the kitchen, and the smoke-filled kitchen necessitates removing the batteries from the smoke alarm for the day.

Unless your kitchen is equipped with superior, restaurant-quality ventilation, I’d suggest “bronzing” your fish, instead, for tasty results. Paul Pruhomme, who is widely recognized as the father of Cajun cuisine, immortalized this dish using redfish, but that fish is endangered and I never see it around. Many other fish, however, work well in this recipe – catfish, red snapper, tilapia, halibut, mahi mahi, salmon or trout.

Bronzing is a technique similar to “blackening”, but at a lower temperature than is required for blackening. You literally can’t get a pan too hot for blackening, but with bronzing, medium-high heat works just fine.

As with blackening, bronzing is cooking fish by coating the fish in spices and cooking it quickly on a pan or grill. It creates a flavorful crisp coating, while leaving the interior of the fish moist.

These scallops are reasonably, to Cajun standards, spicy. Substitute paprika for the cayenne if you prefer less spicy heat. This would delicious served with roasted potatoes or rice and greens. You may substitute Paul Prudomme’s Cajun Seafood Blend for the 6 spices, if desired, as well.

I served my scallops over Al Dente spinach linguini: After searing the scallops, I deglazed the pan with white wine, then reduced the heat and added 1 tablespoon of butter. I tossed this with the pasta.

Recipe: Cajun Bronzed Scallops


  • 12 medium-large sized scallops, 3/4-1 pound (dry-packed, if possible)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed or olive oil
  • Fresh thyme and lemon wedges, optional garnish


  1. Combine salt, thyme, garlic powder, cayenne, white pepper and paprika. Season both sides of scallop with spice mixture.
  2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed cast iron or stainless skillet to medium-high heat.
  3. Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking.
  4. Place scallops in skillet. Sauté until cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. Garnish with thyme and lemon wedges, if desired.

Time: 10 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 2-3

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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