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Blackened Tilapia Quesadillas
with Ginger-Scallion-Red Pepper Sauce

No recipe image available.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.

Recipe Ingredients:

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

Cooking Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Prepare blackening seasoning by combining chile powder, pepper, oregano, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.