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Grilled Swordfish – A First

Hey there – hope you’re having a great week! ūüėÄ I know I’m glad the weekend is almost here and things seem to be cooling down a little outside – Fall is in the air. So…I’ve been keeping this recipe in my back pocket. When I first read through the¬†Back to Basics cookbook, the Indonesian Grilled Swordfish recipe really stuck out to me. One reason was because I was thinking that this was supposed to be a book about basics. Swordfish isn’t all that common and I was wondering what Ina Garten was thinking. Maybe in the Hamptons it is easy to obtain, but in most local grocery stores, it is a rare find. The other reason I was intrigued is because I’ve never had swordfish before. Never made it myself, never had it at a restaurant so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not. I was actually kind of worried because I didn’t know if I could even¬†find swordfish, much less enjoy it. Then, a miracle happened. I was meandering around the local Whole Foods last weekend and they had a tasting table set up near the seafood section. Lo and behold, they were cooking fresh swordfish. They weren’t putting any kind of seasoning on it and were grilling it in a grill pan so it was a great opportunity to taste the raw flavor of the fish. I tried a bite and it was delish. It tasted like crab of all things and shellfish is my game. Elated, I immediately planned to make this recipe that week since I could buy the fish fresh from them. So I bought all the ingredients for the marinade and to make a salad to go with. I held off on getting the fish because I wanted to get it fresh that day.

Then the day rolls around I plan on making the swordfish. I walk down to Whole Foods, stroll back to the seafood section…no swordfish that day. Apparently (and understandably) they get it fresh daily and that means some days, it isn’t available to them. However – they do sell swordfish frozen which was like $20 for 6 steaks. Ultimately I caved and just decided that frozen was good enough. Basically this recipe is one where you’d go to a market and see what is fresh that day, buy the ingredients and make it that day. Or you can take the route I did and use frozen – it was just as good as the fresh kind I tasted.

A parade of tomatoes around a perfectly grilled piece of swordfish

A parade of tomatoes around a perfectly grilled piece of swordfish

The marinade is very delicious; the fresh ginger and lemon are key. They compliment each other very well and really permeate the meat. Instead of mincing the ginger like Ina recommends, I used a fine grater and grated it into a paste. Also – I added one of my favorite Asian ingredients – toasted sesame oil. This is the oil that is pressed out of sesame seeds that have been toasted. It basically tastes like toasted almonds and a little goes a LONG way so just about a teaspoon will do. If you’re not into fish (even though I recommend that you try it), this marinade would go great with chicken or pork. ¬†I served this on top of a simple salad of arugula and chopped kale with some heirloom tomatoes. The vinaigrette was lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper – very easy and light.

Dining al fresco

Dining al fresco

The Winc wine choice to go with this meal was Akoya Viognier from the Central Coast of California.

Akoya Vigoner

Vigonier is similar to Sauvignon Blanc and this one is lightly aromatic, has some fruit flavors on the palate (I tasted mostly lemon and grapefruit) and a lot of crispness/acidity which goes really well with the umami flavor the marinade gives the swordfish. ¬†I know I say this a lot – but if you want to try Winc wine (and if you enjoy wine you totally should give it a go) – use this link to get a discount on your first order:¬†https://www.clubw.com/2lhy61q4ll7. Don’t like it? They have a satisfaction guarantee! I have liked all the wines I have received from them and I love the variety they have as well.

I love the sky's reflection on the table!

I love the sky’s reflection on the table!

Have a good weekend y’all! Grazie!

Print Recipe
B2B# 10: Indonesian Grilled Swordfish
Asian inspired marinade that can be used for chicken or pork, but is fantastic on swordfish. From Back to Basics by Ina Garten, page 135.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 4.25 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 4.25 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine the soy sauce, canola oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, mustard and sesame oil (if using) in a bowl. Place the swordfish steaks in a large resealable zip-top bag and pour the marinade over ensuring to get the marinade equally distributed. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Fire up the grill (either charcoal or gas). Before placing the swordfish on the grill, dip a paper towel into a little bit of canola oil and brush it over the grates with tongs to prevent the swordfish from sticking. Remove the fish from the marinade and sprinkle with kosher salt and place on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes on each side, just until it is no longer pink on the inside. Place on a platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or hot.
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Get Your Grill On

Happy September everyone!¬†Even though it isn’t¬†officially fall yet, the beginning signs are starting to emerge…that’s right – pumpkin spice. Everything from lattes to cereal, pumpkin spice is the poster child for the days shortening and getting cooler.

The first PSL of the season

The first PSL of the season

However, that doesn’t mean it is a total end to grilling season. We’ve still got some time to get our grills on and make the most of what warmer weather we have left. To be quite honest, I know plenty of people out there who will fire up their grills in the middle of winter, and why not? Grilling gives food so much flavor and is actually quite healthy as it doesn’t require any additional fat for cooking (#bonuspoints).

Ina Garten’s Herb-Marinated Loin of Pork is a recipe that I have made in the past and it is definitely one that is a great go-to especially during the week. ¬†Pork loin is naturally tender, relatively cheap, and goes pretty far for feeding a crowd. The marinade is very similar to the Tuscan Lemon Chicken from last week, but I think it has more flavor. From a Back to Basics perspective this recipe highlights the meaning of basics.

Herb-Marinated Loin of Pork

The marinade is highly flavorful and extremely easy to make and marinading food is a great way to infuse flavor into an otherwise semi-tasteless piece of meat. You don’t need to spend hours cooking the pork, the marinade does all that work for you. Just about 20 minutes on the grill and it’s done!¬†For a weeknight meal, just make your marinade the night before and place into a smaller container, in the morning, put the pork loin into a plastic bag and pour in the marinade and let it sit in the fridge all day. Then just throw it on the grill and make a quick side (salad or some sauteed zucchini like I did).

2016-08-29 05.51.21

Simple sauteed zucchini with Parmesan cheese

For this dish, I paired the pork with Winc’s 2015 The Bluffer Valdigui√©. This wine has an interesting story, Valdigui√© is a grape varietal that is not widely known.¬†According to Winc, the farmers that were growing it in California didn’t even know that it was actually Valdigui√© (they thought it was Gamay – a totally different grape). The farmers were corrected by a Frenchman who knew of the grape as France is its native country. In fact, the grape is only grown in France and California. The Valdigui√© grapes for this particular wine were sourced from a vineyard in Paso Robles, California, and are the oldest in the state! If you love Pinot Noir you will love this, trust me!

The Bluffer Valdiguié is a perfect pairing for this grilled pork

It is a very fruity red wine with lots of cherry and strawberry flavors on the palate and the finish is very fresh and almost juicy. There isn’t a lot of tannin action going on with this wine so it is also perfect for those who are new to drinking red wine. If you want to try this wine or any other of Winc’s wine at a discount, use my link for a discount and take your palate profile:¬†https://www.clubw.com/2lhy61q4ll7. If you have any reservations, fear not! You can cancel or you can postpone your account at any time.

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Print Recipe
B2B #8: Herb-Marinated Loin of Pork
An easy main dish for weeknight/weekend grilling. Either marinade overnight or all day but at least for 3 hours to allow the flavors to get into the pork. Adapted from Ina Garten's Back to Basics book - page 126.
Servings
people
Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
  2. When you're ready to cook, build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the residual marinade. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Grill the tenderloins, turning a few times to brown on all sides for 15 to 25 minutes until the meat registers 140 degrees at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch thick slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be pink (this is ok!). Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

If the whole meat being pink thing scares you, just grill for about 5 more minutes before removing from the grill.

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