Monday, May 20, 2019

#GrillGeek: Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa

4 swordfish steaks (½” to 1” thick)
1 cored pineapple
Chili seasoning (optional)
Medium salsa
Oil oil
Oregano or Italian seasoning
Hot sauce (optional)

Are you not entertained?
Swordfish is a robust fish with a very flexible flavor.  You can pair it with pretty much anything.  I was actually planning to do it with teriyaki, but we didn’t have any, so I had to get a little more creative.  We found some pineapple salsa hiding out in our pantry, and the rest of this just kind of came together.
Slice the cored pineapple into robust-sized rings. Pineapple is naturally sweat, but like swordfish, it’s got a robust but flexible flavor.  It’s actually really good when paired with hot sauce or Southwest seasonings.  I found a chili-lime powder blend in my spice drawer, and used it as a rub on about half my pineapple rings.
Prepare a three-zone fire for high heat.
The most challenging thing about cooking this meal night was that pretty much everything needed to be done on high heat.  This particular recipe just covers the swordfish, but I also did eggplant with Italian seasonings and polenta.
Grill the pineapple on very high heat for maybe three minutes on a side.  Because pineapple carries so much liquid, getting it to cook--and getting those good grill marks--isn’t particularly easy.  You really want to sear it quick, or it’ll turn into lukewarm mush.  I hedged a little when I started, afraid I might char it, and the results were somewhat mixed.
You’ll also want to grill the swordfish on high to medium-high heat--maybe 400-degrees of direct heat.  Cook for maybe 6-7 minutes on a side, turning once.  You want to get that swordfish well-cooked.  You’ll know it’s done when it starts to flake.
Alas, this part was a little trickier than the pineapple.  I started over the upper middle portion of the grill, just past the midpoint but close to the flames while my polenta was over the hottest part of the upper grill.  Then I pulled the polenta off and turned the fish, laying it out over the higher heat closer to the top.  I did five minutes on medium high, another five on high, and then I sort of broke the rules and turned the fish again on high heat, letting it cook for another minute just to make sure.  By that time, it was flaking easily, and I pulled it off.
Set the swordfish out on your plate, add a ring of pineapple to the top, and slather in salsa.  Add hot sauce to taste.  I used a few drops of a Southwest habanero sauce, and it was terrific!
Swordfish on the hot part of the grill.
Finished product.  A+ taste, B- presentation.

If I’d planned this better, I’d have garnished with a few sprigs of parsley in the name of presentation.  As it was, we just had to settle for flavor, which was delicious.

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