Friday, November 16, 2012

Swordfish with Chile Pesto and Avocado Salad

We really need to make more swordfish in our apartment.  Every time we make swordfish at home (and don't screw it up because we have done that before) I am reminded that I really do like swordfish.  We probably make it about twice a year, but I really think we should bump it up to every few months.  If all of our swordfish recipes turned out this well I think we would definitely make it more.  The swordfish itself was juicy and perfectly cooked.  And the chile pesto was very interesting - it had a ton of chile flavor.  I would use it again with pork and maybe beef.  I would also consider using it with duck.  My one complaint with the pesto was that the texture was a little gritty and in some bites you ended up with a big chunk of dried chili.  But it had a lot of good flavor.  We added a little honey to the pesto because it was initially a little bitter for us, but a tsp or two of honey nicely counteracted the bitterness of the dried chilis.  I would definitely recommend serving with some avocado salad because the creaminess of the avocado works really nicely with the meatiness of the swordfish and the spice of the pesto.  If you were to make the recipe as written and serve the swordish as a topping for tacos, don't forgo the avocado slices.  I wished we had topped the swordfish with a few pepitas for crunch and texture (or perhaps thinly sliced some corn tortillas and fried them until crispy), but even without that additional textural element it was pretty tasty.

Recipes after the jump!

Swordfish with Chile Pesto
Adapted from Tasting Table

For chile Pesto
5 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon evoo (separated)
1/2 cup pepitas
juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup cilantro
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1-2 tsp honey (to taste)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
For Swordfish
two swordfish steaks
1 tbsp evoo
s&p1 lime, cut into wedges

In a medium bowl, combine the guajillo chiles, ancho chiles and 1 1/2 cups boiling water.  Cover the bowl with a sheet of plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes. Use the tongs to transfer the chiles to a paper towel-lined large plate.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the chile water and discard the rest.

In a small skillet set over medium heat, add 1 tbsp evoo and pepitas.  Cook, using a wooden spoon to stir frequently, until the pepitas are golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pepitas to a blender or a food processor and add the reserved, softened guajillo and ancho chiles, 1/4 cup of the chile water, 1/4 cup evoo, lime juice, cilantro, red pepper flakes, garlic, s&p

Process until the pesto is smooth, adding more of the remaining 1/4 cup of chile water if needed to thin and smooth the mixture.  Use the rubber spatula to scrape the mixture into a medium bowl and set aside.

Season both sides of the swordfish steaks with 1 tbsp evoo, s&p.

Place a grill pan over medium heat and add the swordfish. Cook until marked from the pan, about 2 minutes.  Use a spatula to flip the swordfish steaks over, cooking the other side until the fish is cooked through, about 2 minutes more.  Transfer to a cutting board and rest the swordfish for 5 minutes before slicing crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces.  Arrange the swordfish on the serving platter and serve with the chile pesto, lime wedges and avocado salad.

Avocado Salad

2 avocados, pits removed and cubed
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
1 1/2 tbsp cilantro, stems and leaves, minced
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl.  Toss.  Season to taste with additional lime juice, salt or cumin (if necessary).

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