Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 34: Swordfish Steaks with Risoto and Roasted Veggies.

Last night I decided I was in the mood for something a bit more involved for dinner.  While shopping at Whole Foods I found myself eying the fish section (my meal in Baltimore left something to be desired and I had a hankering for seafood).  Fortunately swordfish was on sale.  Swordfish is something I haven't had in years, but was a favorite of mine, so I decided it was time to give it a whirl. 

I also made the decision that if I'm going to do a really nice cut of fish, I should pair it with something a bit more involved as well.  Thus risoto and roasted asparagus, zucchini and squash.  Risoto is something that sounds a lot fancier than it actually is.  It isn't actually difficult to make, just takes a bit of time, attention and knowledge.  Toast the rice, keep it moving and add liquid slowly.  I'll probably talk about it in more detail at some point, but for tonight I want to focus on swordfish.

The roasted veggies were an equally simple process.  I sliced up a zucchini, summer squash and prepped some asparagus.  I made a quick balsamic vinaigrette, let them sit in it for about 45 minutes and then tossed it in the oven on 325 for about 10 minutes.  They came out nicely softened with a bit of caramelization and fit perfectly with the rest of the meal.

Finally, tonight's star: the fish.  For seasoning I went with a slight variation of my standard seasoning mix.  A sprinkle of Emeril's essence, a dash of key lime seasoning, my standard italian herb blend, a bit of garlic powder and of course, salt and pepper.  This went liberally over the top of the steaks while I set a cast iron pan down to heat up as completely as possible.  They wound up looking a bit like this:

With the fish prepped, the pan "screaming hot," and an oven preheated to 325 (for the veggies) it was cooking time.  The two pieces of fish went down into the hot cast iron pan without any oil or additional prep, just great fish and hot iron.  After about a minute on each side the fish and pan went into the oven for another 5 before reaching perfect doneness (I was astounded I managed to get it right the first try).  When it came out I set the fish aside to rest for about 3-4 minutes while the risoto finished up before carving it up and serving up the plates you saw above.  I was incredibly pleased with the outcome of the meal, the risoto was creamy and flavorful with just the tiniest hint of bite left in the rice (this keeps it from being just too mushy).  The fish had a great sear with the perfect rare doneness inside and an incredible texture that just melts in your mouth.  Overall, an incredibly successful experiment, and fish I'm going to have to make a point to try out again.

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