If you're looking for a new way to enjoy seafood? Try blackened seafood — Opelousas cream sauce over dirty rice or pasta for a flavorful and satisfying meal. 



For Blackened Shrimp and Catfish:

  • ½ - 1 pound colossal white shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 (5-oz.) skinless catfish fillets 
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (divided into 2 tablespoons for each protein)
  • ¼ cup Blackened seasoning
  • ¼ cup Creole or Cajun seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (I prefer avocado) or PAM High Heat Baking 
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For Opelousas Cream Sauce

For Dirty Rice 

  • 6 oz andouille or chicken sausage 
  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
  • 1 ½ cups white rice, cooked
  • ½ tsp dried tarragon (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped green peppers
  • ½ cup chopped white onions
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • ¼ chicken chicken bouillon (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper, to taste


To make Dirty rice 

*Note: You can make boxed (8 oz.) Zatarain’s Dirty Rice 

  1. Add the ground beef to a 12-inch skillet and cook over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss in sausage slices and season the meat with Cajun spices and tarragon.
  3. Let the meat brown for 4-5 minutes. Ensure that the protein is completely drained of excess fat.
  4. Then add garlic, onions, green peppers, and celery. Cook until the garlic and onions are fragrant.
  5. Stir in the flour until the meat is well coated.
  6. Add in the cooked rice
  7. Pour in the broth and add it to the skillet or pot. Deglaze the pot with a wooden or silicone spoon by scooping up any brown bits.
  8. Turn the heat down to medium and add the bay leaf. Let the dish simmer for 7-10 minutes covered.
  9. Take off the lid and discard the bay leaf.
  10. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

To make Opelousas Cream Sauce

  1. Melt butter over medium-low heat in a medium skillet.
  2. Add in the chopped shallot and cook until translucent in color. 
  3. Add garlic, and season the butter sauce with cajun seasoning and paprika.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium and add the white sherry cooking wine. You can replace the cooking wine with chicken stock. The alcohol will cook off.
  5. Stir in your heavy cream and heat until bubbling.
  6. Add the jalapeño paste if using. 
  7. Add in your lumped crab meat and mix until well combined.  
  8. Stir in an instant dry roux mix, then sprinkle the cream sauce with a little of the herbs.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste 
  10. Reduce the temperature to low and simmer the cream sauce uncovered for 15 minutes until all the flavors have been incorporated. 
  11. Remove the sauce from the heat and add in your parmesan cheese. Keep the sauce warm until the seafood is ready.
  12. Add additional herbs before serving.

To make Blackened Catfish and Shrimp

  1. Wash and Pat dry your Catfish and Shrimp with a dry paper towel
  2. Depending on your preference, peel and devein the shrimp.
  3. In a bowl, mix the shrimp with blackened and cajun seasoning until evenly coated. Repeat the seasoning process for the Catfish fillets. The seasoning mixture should be enough for both the fish and shrimp. Set seafood aside for 10 minutes to allow the rub to penetrate.
  4. Preheat a cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan over high heat for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Once the skillet is heated, add neutral oil or spray the skillet with High Heat Baking Release Spray.
  6. Add the melted butter to the skillet and swirl to coat.
  7. Add the seasoned shrimp to the skillet and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes until cooked and blackened outside. Once cooked throughout, place in a heat-resistant bowl. 
  8. Repeat the same process for cooking the catfish fillets.
  9. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and swirl to coat.
  10. Add the seasoned catfish to the same oiled skillet and sear for 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the catfish fillets).
  11. Remove the catfish from the skillet and place it on a heat-resistant plate.
  12. Immediately sprinkle the seafood with about a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and herbs.

To Serve

  1. Place a scoop of dirty rice or pasta on a plate. Add 1 to 2 catfish fillets,  then add a few blackened shrimp.
  2. Drizzle the creamy Opelousas sauce over the seafood and rice/pasta, and garnish with  herbs and a lemon wedge.