When it comes to landing dinner on the table on a weeknight, fish fillets are among the very quickest dishes you can prepare, rarely requiring more than five minutes to go from raw to ready to eat. And given the relative mildness of a fish’s flavor, they’re a natural canvas for a vast palette of seasonings.

For Spicy Sauteed Fish with Pineapple Mango Salsa, white fish fillets are dusted with flour spiked with Creole spice mix, after which they’re crisped up in a skillet. The famously potent spice mix – spearheaded by cayenne and black pepper – is built into the DNA of Louisiana cuisine. Virtually all of New Orleans’ Hall of Fame chefs – including Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse – developed signature versions of this mix and used it liberally and to great effect in just about everything they cooked.

Fair warning: If you’re not a fan of blazing heat, you won’t be a fan of Creole spice mix. Unless, of course, you balance it with one key ingredient – sugar. Sugar will balance any spicy dish.

In this recipe, the fiery Creole spice mix is countered by the natural sugars built into the pineapple mango salsa. The additional herbs and fresh lime contribute some festive end-of-summer flair to this weeknight entree.

SPICY SAUTEED FISH WITH PINEAPPLE MANGO SALSA

Servings: 4

3/4 cup finely diced pineapple

3/4 cup finely diced mango

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes and patted dry

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro or a mix

Kosher salt

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons creole spice mix (recipe below) or store-bought, such as Zatarains

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Four 6-ounce firm-fleshed white fish fillet pieces, such as tilapia

In a bowl combine the pineapple, mango, onion, lime juice and herbs; add salt to taste.

On a piece of parchment, combine the flour and the spice mix; stir well. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Dip the fish in the flour mixture, coating it well on all sides, shaking off the excess, and add it to the skillet. Cook it until golden brown, about 2 minutes a side and transfer a portion to each of 4 plates. Top each portion with a heaping spoonful of salsa.

CREOLE SPICE MIX

2 teaspoons hot paprika

11/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon onion powder

3/4 teaspoon cayenne

3/4 teaspoon oregano

3/4 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together well.