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Summertime Swordfish

Although the availability of fresh swordfish in our part of the world is sporadic–the species’ population was threatened for awhile a few years ago–it still turns up in restaurants and occasionally in seafood markets. Or you might have a friend who caught one. Swordfish are huge and their fillets are usually cut into steaks, like tuna, about three-quarters of an inch to a full inch thick . It needs to be cooked a little longer than fresh tuna, but not until it’s gray all the way through; that will make it tough and unappealing. I find it’s best when grilled, and then allowed to cool off before serving. Cold garnishes like corn, fresh peppers (hot or sweet or both) and diced tomato and avocado can turn it into a semi-salad–great during the summer (or the summer-like weather we’ve been having).

  • Chef Andrea’s Fish Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 3-5 dashes Tabasco
  • 4 swordfish steaks, 6-8 oz. each
  • 2 tsp. Creole seafood seasoning
  • Garnish
  • 2 Tbs. hand-chopped white onion
  • 2 Tbs. ripe red or yellow bell pepper (optional: roast it first)
  • 1 tsp. chopped jalapeno, no seeds or membranes
  • 1 small avocado, slightly underripe, diced
  • 1/3 cup medium-diced tomato, seeds and gel removed
  • 1/3 cup fresh corn
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 5 leaves chopped fresh basil
  • 4 sprigs cilantro, leaves only, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1. Blend the fish marinade in a large, shallow platter. Marinate the swordfish for about a minute on each side. Drain excess marinade and set both the extra marinade and the fish side.

2. Combine all the garnish ingredients in a bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of the fish marinade, to your taste.

3. You can either broil or grill the fish, using high heat in either approach. In either case, pre-heat the broiler rack or utensil. It is not necessary to turn the fish, although if you’re grilling you might want to hit the topside with heat for a couple of minutes after the bottom is crisp around the edges. The fish is ready when a kitchen fork shoved into a center of the thickest fish steak feels even a little warm if you then touch the fork to your lips.

4. Sprinkle some of the garnish onto the plates, top with the swordfish steaks, and cover with the remaining garnish.

Serves four.

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