At the outset, you should know that when I pronounce the words “sword”, “swords” or “swordfish” I very clearly include the “w” sound. So while you read this, in your head, for the sake of accuracy, I would ask that you do the same.
What can I say about swordfish? Let’s see they have swords for noses, first off, so that’s pretty bad ass. I think we can all agree on that. If you could have a weapon for a body part what would it be and which body part would you replace it with? I can’t decide myself, I might replace my lazy eye with a laser beam, provided there wouldn’t be any free radical damage to my face and it would be the kind of laser beam used for good, not evil. Anyways back to the sWordfish.
When I was 16, I finally decided to expand my eating parameters beyond chicken fingers and steak tips and I decided that I liked swordfish. Probably because it was the most steak-like out of all the sea creatures. So when my parents took me and a friend to Anthony’s Pier 4 for a fancy dinner to celebrate my Sweet 16, swordfish it was. Nowadays, I don’t eat swordfish all that much, mostly because it’s pretty expensive and also not a very sustainable fish to eat; however, something inside me said “sWordfish” on Tuesday and I answered the call.
I had this idea in my head that I wanted to make a nice pan seared piece of fish with some sort of jazzy sauce. Tomatoes and capers came to mind. Mostly, because I knew I had both at home. I did some light googling and determined that this was, in fact, a combination that would work well with some swordfish so I decided to work it out and see what happened.
What happened was I found a sauce/chutney/warm relish type thing that is straight delicious. Make a batch and spoon it over chicken, fish or shrimp. Heck, just spoon it into a small bowl as a tasty addition to a spread of cheese and crackers. The swordfish was great but for me the major success of this meal was really the chutney. This stuff is tangy, salty and sweet all at once. It’s dynamic without being heavy and if you make it you will enjoy yourself I promise.
PAN SEARED SWORDFISH with WARM TOMATO CAPER CHUTNEY
Swordfish (about 1/2 lb. per person)
About a half package cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoons capers
½ tsp. Dijon mustard
Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 350. Toss tomatoes with a light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 to an hour, until they are blistered and have given off some of their juice. While this goes on you can do whatever you want, because this is the only part of this meal that takes a while, but is completely hands off. I drew a picture of my salt and pepper shakers with a ball point pen and did a load of laundry, if you must know. The picture came out awful but the laundry was fine. Win some, lose some.
While the tomatoes are roasting, trim the skin from your fish, salt and pepper each side and then marinate in a shallow pan in some olive oil in the refrigerator. When your tomatoes are ready, remove the pan from the oven. Preheat a skillet with about two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté shallots for about five minutes, add garlic, sauté another two minutes or so. Add pinch of sugar, salt and pepper and your Dijon mustard, stirring everything together. Splash a few drops of red wine vinegar (about 2-3 tbs. I would guess) in the pan, crank the heat a little and stirring constantly let the vinegar burn off. At this point in time, you can reduce the heat to low and let the sauce hang out while you cook your fish. If you’re adept at multi tasking you can sear the fish while making the sauce.
To cook the fish, preheat two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is good and hot, add the swordfish steaks. Let cook about 5-6 minutes on one side, flip and cook on the other side until cooked through. The directions I read on how to cook swordfish said 4 minutes per side, but when we got it to the table it was uncooked in the middle. Grody. I cranked the oven to 400 and put the whole pan in there for about 5 minutes and then the fish was completely cooked through. If you are timid about cooking fish and easily skeeved if things aren’t cooked through, this is my advice to you: sear the fish on one side for 5 minutes, flip, sear the other side for 3 minutes and then transfer the skillet to a 400 degree oven to finish cooking for 5 minutes. Once the fish is done, pour the sauce over. Serve with a green vegetable and brown rice or cous cous.
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