Friday, October 03, 2008

Spanish smoke: Grilled Swordfish with Pimenton

Even I can only eat so much pork, beef, and all the wonderful by products that flow from those two of god's creatures who are thankfully lower on the food chain than us...pancetta, pork belly, rib eyes, the holiest of porcine-bovine combinations, bacon-cheeseburgers...just thinking about them makes me salivate. But as is aid, sometimes a person needs a break, and thanks to the NYT's Mark Bittman I came across this fabulous swordfish preparation that had much approval at our dinner table last night. You can watch Bittman's accompanying video by clicking here.

This particular...and very easy...preparation makes liberal use of pimenton, or Spanish smoked paprika, which is going to fast become my favorite spice. Now I've never been a big fan of swordfish as I usually prefer fish that is slightly less "steak-like" in texture, but man was this good. I think too many places also overcook the fish, which is never a good thing. Following Bittman's directions though gave a perfectly cooked, tender steak. His pimenton marinade (brushed on the fish steaks prior to cooking in right photo) was a perfect foil to the swordfish as well, adding smoky, spicy complexity without overwhelming the flavor of the fish itself. Plus the pimenton aioli, taking the place of a tartar sauce was an awesome accompaniment. Even made with regular Best Foods as he suggested rather than homemade it rocked! I also got double duty by using the leftover as a sandwich spread that totally upped the ante on a roast chicken sando today. Served alongside some roasted fingerlings (that were also so good dipped into the aioli) and some slices of fresh tomatoes out of our garden, it was exactly the right ticket if you want to catch the non-red meat train!
*** *** ***
Grilled Fish with Pimentón Aioli
from Mark Bittman/The New York Times

Time: 20 minutes

2 teaspoons minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 teaspoons pimentón
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 swordfish or other fish steaks, about 1 1/2 pounds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Lemon juice to taste.

1. Start a grill or preheat broiler. Mix together all but 1/2 teaspoon garlic, some salt and pepper, half the pimentón and olive oil. Brush one side of fish steaks with this mixture (if you are broiling, brush both sides). Put on grill, sauced side down, and brush other side. Grill or broil, turning once, until done, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise with remaining garlic and pimentón; add a little lemon juice and whisk; taste and adjust seasoning. Serve fish with a dollop of aioli.

Yield: 4 servings.

No comments: