"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

23.1.15

Spice-Crusted Swordfish #French Fridays with Dorie

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Spice-Crusted Swordfish- simplelivingeating.com


We have been on a roll this month making fish recipes for French Fridays with Dorie. I couldn't be happier. Fish is delicious, cooks quickly, is low in calories and high in nutrition. Yes, it is much better for you than any meat.

Spice-Crusted Tuna was the recipe for this week, but I am an extremist when it comes to tuna. I either like it raw or cooked and chopped up into a salad of some sort. I don't like the seared outside, raw middle taste or texture combination that this week's recipe called for...so I substituted swordfish, which was on sale, and it is a deep sea fish. I figured that the seasoning would work well on any cold water fish.


Spice-Crusted Swordfish- simplelivingeating.com

The recipe called for grinding up the seasoning in a mortar and pestle... really? Seriously mortar and pestle? Maybe for crushing mint leaves for a Mojito or making an occasional guacamole...but to crush cardamon pods and peppercorns? It's the 21st century... I used a coffee grinder!

In the summer I often cover fish with rubs before cooking it on the grill, so I found the instructions for this recipe to be a bit odd. Spread oil over the fish and then rub on the spices? When I checked the P & Q someone had trouble with the seasoning staying on the fish. I wasn't surprised. Most rub recipes that I've ever used call for drying the fish well with paper towels, and then rubbing it with the seasoning before putting it in a hot skillet with just a coating of oil. I used this technique and the seasoning stayed on well. A note: I also used dried ginger instead of fresh grated ginger which is wet. I wanted the rub to be totally dry so it would stick without a problem. 

The spice mixture was subtle. It didn't have enough POW for my husband, but the rest of us liked it. I do usually associate strong flavors with rubs, but I thought that this flavor mixture enhanced the taste of the fish, instead of overpowering it the way some strong rubs can do. 

Thanks to Dorie's Olive and Orange Salad I am really into citrus salads for the winter. I served the swordfish with this Mark Bittman recipe: Winter Citrus Salad and Honey Dressing, along with Saffron rice. The beauty of cooking fish is that it takes so little time to prepare, you can have it for a midweek meal, and feel like you've gone out to an elegant restaurant. 


Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 

Spice-Crusted Swordfish

by Diane Balch at simplelivingeating.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: saute entree gluten-free swordfish French winter

Ingredients: 

(serves 4)
  • Seeds from 6 cardamon pod
  • 2 teaspoons of black peppercorn
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel or other sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin-olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 pieces of swordfish about 2 pounds

Instructions

1) Grind: cardamon, peppercorn, and coriander seeds in a coffee grinder or mini-food processor. If you don't have these spices in seed form, use one teaspoon of each pre-ground form. The flavor isn't quite as intense when the seasoning is pre-ground, but add a little more salt and it will taste fine.
2) Mix ground seasoning with ginger and salt.
3) Heat EVOO in a large cast iron skillet or other non-stick skillet on medium high heat.
4) While the skillet is warming dry the fish well with paper towels and rub each side with the spice mixture.
5) Test the skillet by dropping a little water in the pan. If it sizzles up the skillet is ready. If not you may want to turn up the heat.
6) Place the fish in the skillet, cover and do not move for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes flip with a large spatula, cover and do not move for another 5 minutes. Cut into the thickest piece of fish center to see if it is opaque. If it is or it is almost opaque. Remove the fish from the skillet. Let the fish rest for 2 minutes it will continue to cook.
Serve with saffron rice, rice pilaf (potatoes would work well too) and a citrus salad or other vegetable with a hint of citrus.

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38 comments:

  1. Oh darn, I didn't know a mortar and pestle were passé in the 21st Century. I was just congratulating myself for transporting it from Aspen to Cambria for the winter. Do you know how heavy that thing is to lug around? I Since I added Dukkah to the mix, I went overboard on the seeds and spices but didn't have too much trouble getting them to stick. The olive oil was glue. I don't use rubs very often in my cooking but your post reminded me how quick and easy and flavorfuil they can be.

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    1. Mary what can I say mortar and pestles make a nice decoration but not very practical. Once you grind spices with a coffee grinder and won't go back. Glad the original recipe worked out for you.

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  2. I am with you on the grinding - I used pre-ground spices thereby skipping the grinding altogether. I really enjoyed this.

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    1. I'm all about simplifying things... so pre-ground.. go for it, as long as their fresh I don't notice the difference much.

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  3. Swordfish was going to be my substitution as well, and I still think that it would probably be the best one, but my fishmonger was out last week. And if you like citrus salads, another great combo is blood oranges and very finely sliced fenel. I got that from an old book by Mark Stausman.

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  4. I loved the orange and olive salad. I need to check out Mark Bittman's too. I'm weird about the mortar and pestle. Its similar to kneading bread by hand. It makes me feel a connection to a tradition of cooks through the ages trying to prepare something nutritious and filling. We didn't care for the spice combo. We might have preferred this with swordfish actually!

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    1. Ah a romantic, I get that. My husband won't use a bread maker I get the tackle thing... but I have such a limited time to make dinner. Maybe someday, but I've never been a romantic.

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  5. I love using my Mortar and pestle…I think it works great if you don’t want the spices ground up fine! However, I guess it does take longer!
    Your fish looks delicious, and I love the citrus salad! Did you cook the swordfish well done, or rare? Happy Friday, Diane!

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    1. It's cooked through, not flaking well done, but complexity opaque. About 5 minutes a side for 1 1/2 inch steak.

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  6. That's funny because Tammy and I found the seasoning to be really strong and pack a punch! Well, at least you enjoyed it!

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    1. Rubs we usually make are on the hot and spicy side.

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  7. I thought the spice rub was just right, but I can see how someone who likes spicier foods would appreciate a little more. I also fall in the "mortar and pestle" camp ... I just enjoy the process. On a busy weeknight, though, I would go for the coffee grinder, too!!

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    1. I'm not surprised that I am surrounded by romantic traditionalist... some day I have the time, but dinner is squeezed into our busiest time of day.

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  8. I chuckled at the mortar and pestle thing (I use my huge-o mortar and pestle all the time)! Diane, that plate looks gorgeous and I love the orange-olive salad with the fish and saffron rice. Sounds so delicious! Glad you enjoyed it and I can see the spice rub being better with swordfish.

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    1. Because I found the seasoning to be light I think swordfish might be the better choice, because it is milder than tuna. Tuna can handle really pungent spices.

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  9. I'm glad to know this worked with swordish. I was trying to think of other fish that would work. I was confused by the instruction to coat the fish in oil too. Glad to know it was an unnecessary step!

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    1. The swordfish was really delicious. I hope you get to try it soon.

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  10. I can't remember the last time I had swordfish, but back then it was blackened. I am sure it was perfect for this recipe.

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    1. That was the only way it was prepared for a while. I like that and with a rub.

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  11. Nice substitute for the fish and your results look fabulous. Glad the family enjoyed it, even if your husband could have had it kicked up a notch- it was still liked by all. Your photos are always lovely but they are particularly gorgeous this week- very dramatic and beautiful. Great job !!

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    1. Thanks Tricia I didn't have any natural light... I'm learning how to work with a photo light.

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  12. I liked this "inside" way of cooking fish steaks, and because I didn't love the tuna itself cooked this way, I'm excited to know that it worked well with swordfish. I didn't actually have any trouble with the spices sticking to my oil-rubbed fish steak. I do feel like a meal like this is restaurant-worthy, and so much more satisfying to have cooked at home.

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    1. Can't wait to until you check this out with swordfish. It just has such a better consistency than tuna when it's cooked. I did cook it through, not raw in the middle, but just cooked through.

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  13. Sounds delicious! I've slowly been introducing my family to more fish. So far they're not big fans, but I think we'll get there. I think the rub on this sounds perfect.

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    1. The progression for me with the kids is: make tuna sandwiches regularly, shrimp, and then sole with butter or stuffed with bread crumbs.

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  14. You are definitely a seasoned cook:) If I use the recipe with another fish I will follow your suggestions. If you do make the pasta recipe I think a 1/2 cup butter is plenty for a pound of pasta. The 12 tablespoons in the recipe was too much. Have a great week.

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    1. I like your seasoned cook pun. Yes, 12 tablespoons.. sounds like a heart attack to me.

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  15. Your swordfish looks delicious! I am sure that made a great substitution.

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  16. I have to admit that I am on team mortar as well - especially if I am going for a coarser texture. (The coffee grinder comes out when I want a more consistent grind)

    Glad this worked well with the swordfish.

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    1. I just don't like coarse grinds at all... everything sticks in my teeth.

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  17. I am on a mission to reduce the electricity bill in my house and also to justify eating desserts and FFwD dishes, everything creaming, mixing, chopping and grinding - are all by arm muscles! Love that citrus salad of yours!

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    1. Curious of the calorie burn of hand grinding spices? Those peppercorns are pretty hard.

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  18. this looks delicious - i can't believe i just tried swordfish for the first time when a friend brought us her fresh catch a few weeks ago. hubby grilled it up with a quick herb/oil mixture i whipped up. this is DEFINITELY going in my bag of tricks. and great tip on the spice grinder... there's something to be said for the old ways, and there's something to be said for speed. ;) found ya through inspire me mondays!

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    1. Lucky you fresh caught swordfish what a treat. It is a tremendously delicious fish that doesn't need great spices but it is nice.

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  19. How delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  20. Looks delicious, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. Pinning.

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  21. I love the spices in this recipe, Diane. Swordfish is one of my favourites and this is such a great way to serve it. Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul hop. Pinned and will tweet :-)

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