Swordfish roasting on an open fire…

open-fire swordfish

Is Mel Tormé rolling over in his grave, or wishing he’d thought of swordfish first?

Joe Patti’s is a fresh seafood market in Pensacola. A hot-spot filled with locals swarming the counters, ogling the fabulous fresh fish, shellfish, crab and lobsters. The prices are very reasonable, thanks to the huge demand. After strolling up and down the counter [and nixing the still-pricey lobsters], we decided on a meaty swordfish steak. On the car ride home he suggested marinating the steak in Asian flavors. So we swung by Winn-Dixie, picked up a bottle of rice vinegar and knob of ginger, and set to work.

Before coming to visit, I expressed interest in using his wood-burning fireplace. I even suggested making homemade grahams [maybe homemade marshmallows if we were feeling ambitious] for s’mores. He suggested fire-roasting the swordfish instead. Whoa. I’m game!

Fire-Roasted Asian Swordfish Steak [serves 2]

Printable recipe.

We rigged up a fireplace grill using the existing grate, a cooling rack and a loaf pan. Probably not recommended… If you want to try it, make sure the rack is stable, and please, be careful! A stovetop grill pan or outdoor grill would be more appropriate.

2 T rice vinegar

1 T freshly-squeezed lemon juice

2 T soy sauce

1 t sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, smashed

fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 3 quarter-sized disks, smashed

1/2 t ground coriander

1/2 t onion powder

hot red pepper flakes

3/4 to 1 lb. fresh swordfish steak [frozen would work fine, too; thaw completely before adding to marinade]

In a quart-sized ziploc bag, add all ingredients except the swordfish. Swish around a bit and mash garlic and ginger a little more with your hands when in the bag. Wash and pat dry the swordfish steak, and place in bag with the marinade; seal, set on a rimmed plate or in a bowl. Allow the steak to marinade for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Once hot enough, add swordfish and grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of your steak). [It took ours longer in the fireplace. We couldn’t place the steak directly over the flames, so the heat was much lower. Probably about 4-5 minutes per side. Still moist, thanks to the marinade!] Transfer the steak to a plate, cut in half and serve.

A squirrel bread original.

Served with: wild rice and a late harvest Cuvée Blanc Vino Blanco Dulce. [Found the label in my things: Bodega Norton Cosecha Tardia from Argentina. Really lovely.]

That’s one of the things I love above vacation and cooking with other people – you try new things. I’ve had grilled swordfish before, but this was totally different. A refreshed version. Inspiring and delicious. What else to cook over an open fire? My s’mores… ??

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