Blackened Tilapia Quesadillas
with Ginger-Scallion-Red Pepper Sauce
Originally from Africa, tilapia are now raised around the world. The low-fat flesh of the tilapia is white (sometimes tinged with pink), sweet and fine-textured. It's suitable for baking, broiling, grilling and steaming. The tilapia is also called St. Peter's fish and, in Hawaii, Hawaiian sun fish.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove roasted garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon grated gingerroot
1/4 roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion - divided use
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure chile powder, such as ancho or jalapeño
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons salt
6 ounces boneless tilapia fillet, or other lowfat fish
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese
2 (8-inch) flour tortillas
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and bell pepper; cook for 1 minute. Add half of the scallions and cook for 1 more minute. Increase heat to high and add cream. Stir until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Prepare blackening seasoning by combining chile powder, pepper, oregano, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add peanut oil. Just before cooking, dredge tilapia fillets in spices. When oil starts to smoke, add tilapia and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Remove fish from heat and flake apart into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a bowl and combine with red pepper sauce. Scatter half of the cheese over a tortilla, followed by fish mixture. Top with remaining cheese. Cover with second tortilla and press down.
- Heat a pan over medium heat; cook quesadilla for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly brown and cheese is melted. Remove from pan and cut into wedges. Garnish with remaining scallion.
Makes 2 servings.