Let’s get shakin’

New year new me, right? I honestly make fun of this year after year. But like a lot of you I “try” to hop on the bandwagon and like a lot of you that’s exactly what it is, “try” usually not very hard. Like a lot of things here in the south we are on our own schedule. See around here a lot of people put off that “New year new me” mess a little longer than January 2nd. Why, you ask? It’s simple Mardi Gras!!!!! Also, southerners don’t tend to diet or eat right when it’s still cold. We love our gumbo’s, stews, chili, and the like. But it’s that time, for some it’s lent, BUT for all of us Mardi Gras is over. It’s time for healthier eating, fresh vegetables from the garden, fresh fish and seafood. Although this is like a lot of things, we are a little behind and slower to get that kickstart the time has come. Over the next few months, you will see (as requested) some healthier dishes in my columns and healthier dishes on my show – Livin’ Large with Chef Hunter Lee on KSLA each Monday morning at 9:30. Healthy doesn’t have to be harder to cook or taste any less spectacularly southern and you are not alone. I’m right there on the journey with you. Time to get into spring and summer in the south and what better way to stay motivated than with some great southern dishes. I know the fish are biting and I’m seeing more and more of you head to the lake. Even if you aren’t a fisherman your local grocery store has some great alternatives to the next dish. It doesn’t have to be fresh caught by you BUT I will say even buying in the store I support farm raised fish BUT I only support US caught and will never suggest Tilapia. Buy local, support local, buy US sourced. 


  • 4 (6-8 oz.) fillets of bass, white perch, catfish.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Benwood’s Surely Southern – Blackened seasoning
  • 5 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish 

    Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°. Season fillets with salt and pepper and place on a small baking sheet. 
    Step 2: Mix together butter, garlic, blackened seasoning, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and zest then pour over fillets. Place lemon rounds on top and around fillets.   
    Step 3: Bake fillets until fork-tender and flakey, 12 to 14 minutes depending on thickness 

Till next week I’m Chef Hunter Lee 

Remember, “treat your kitchen, treat yourself” 

Benwood’s, uniquely southern, surely the best!