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Seared Swordfish Steaks with Veggies and Broth

Seared Swordfish Steaks with Veggies and Broth

Since we're living for a year in an apartment with no grill, indoor or out, I've been working on ways to cook fish that I would usually have grilled. The best I've found is a quick sear, and I've been accompanying the fish with a flavorful broth made from fish stock and whatever vegetables I have on hand. This particular version was done with swordfish, but a few weeks ago (on a night when my camera wasn't at hand) we had a very satisfying salmon steak done basically the same way.

The recipe below lists the ingredients I used for this dish, but more importantly it's a concept made for reinterpretation, rather than a prescriptive set of instructions. I think the key ingredients are some stock of some sort (this time I used the liquid that was left in the fish poacher after I steamed a striped bass one night, mixed with the liquid I braised some octopus in on another night), a little white wine, some aromatics like onion or garlic, fresh or dried herbs, and some bits of tomato or whatever vegetables you have handy. I mix in a little butter at the end for richness but this isn't strictly necessary if you don't like that much fat.

I served the fish in a pool of the broth, with a spoonful or two of the braised veggies, on a plate with rice and some greens (Swiss chard in this case, from our farm share box. I particularly like steamed short-grained Japanese rice for this dish because it soaks up and combines with the broth for a particularly pleasant result.

Seared Swordfish Steaks with Veggies and Broth

swordfish steaks, about 1" thick
2 cups fish broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C diced leek (white parts only)
2 T minced dill weed
2 slices tomato, diced
4-6 strands saffron
1/2 ear corn, cooked, kernels removed from cob
1/4 C kohlrabi, diced
1/4 C parsnip, peeled and cut in spears about 1" long and 1/4" wide
1 small carrot, peeled and cut in spears about 1" long and 1/4" wide
2 T butter
salt, hot sauce to taste

Wash the fish and dry it thoroughly. (The key to searing anything and getting a nice caramelizing effect is to have the meat very dry when it goes into the pan.)

Combine the broth and the wine in a small sauce pan and bring to a rapid boil. Add the onion and half the garlic and reduce the broth by half. Lower heat to a low simmer and add half the dill weed, the saffron, the parsnip, the kohlrabi and the carrot. Simmer for 10 or 15 minutes until the carrot and parsnip are tender. Stir in the butter, corn, tomato and remaining garlic and dill. Correct the seasoning with salt and hot sauce and keep warm while you sear the fish.

Heat a heavy skillet or sauté pan (I use my black cast iron for this) until very hot. Coat the bottom with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and add the fish. Without moving the fish or adjusting the heat, sauté for 2 -1/2 minutes. Turn and sauté another 2 - 1/2 minutes. Remove to a warmed plate. (Note that this method produces a good bit of smoke so ideally you have a good ventilation system or you've temporarily disabled any smoke detectors in the kitchen!)

To serve, pour a puddle of the broth in the plate and place the fish in it. Spoon additional broth over the fish and scatter on some of the vegetables from the pan, then the rest of the minced dill. Garnish with a sprig of dill if you wish.


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Looks and sounds delicious!


Although I grill all year round, (sun, rain or snow) this sounds like a much easier alternative on those really cold nights, very versatile, but best of all, it looks amazing!

My sister (Indyfoodie) told me about your blog and it looks fabulous! Beautiful pictures. I wish I were as creative.

Beautiful presentation.... like Brilynn, we grill pretty much the whole year

I will definitely try your recipe soon

Yum! To tell you the truth, I find that searing works even better than grilling for some fish. Like tuna for example. To keep it rare in the center, it just doesn't get good enough browning on the grill, so I tend to sear it. Love the broth idea :)


Excellent idea; excellent picture; excellent blog.

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