A few days ago, I was shopping for various recipe ingredients in our local Hannaford when I saw some swordfish on sale for $9.99 a pound. While I have no idea if this is good or bad, I figured I’d grab a few steaks because the salmon I usually purchase was upwards of $13.99 a pound. How this fish can fluctuate between $7.99 and $13.99 is beyond me. Anyway, I decided to avoid the salmon and go with the swordfish. I figured that I’d look for a recipe somewhere to see if I could prepare the fish and share my experience on this blog. I did happen to find a recipe and the results I had were so-so. I know what I did wrong and I’ll tell you all about it below.
The recipe I’m going to show you below is most likely the most simple I’ll ever share on this website. The ingredients list is small and there isn’t much cook time. I don’t think anyone would have any issues with putting this fish dish together.
I’ll tell you one thing, the result of this recipe is delicious. I was surprised. It’s amazing what a little butter, garlic, parsley and a few other things can do to a piece of fish. The taste was great. And if you aren’t aware, swordfish has the potential of being the best tasting fish species you’ve ever eaten. I ordered+ it all the time when I used to go out to restaurants much more than I do now. The problem is, you have to get the cook time right. If you overcook it, it turns into something very similar to dry chicken. It even tastes like chicken. Cook it perfectly though and you’ll be thoroughly impressed. I promise you that.
Because of a few factors, I overcooked our swordfish. It was good, don’t get me wrong. It just wasn’t as good as it could have been. After dinner, I thought about steps in the preparation process that I would change next time and I’m going to share those alterations with you. I’ll intertwine my suggestions in the steps below.
4 Tablespoons Butter, Room Temperature
2 Teaspoons Parsley, Chopped
1 Teaspoon Garlic, Minced
Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Regular Olive Oil
4 6-Ounce Swordfish Steaks, Room Temperature
I’d like to thank Epicurious.com for this recipe. I found it on their website and even though there were mixed reviews when it came to cook time, their base suggestions were spot on.
Arrange your oven racks so one of them is in the center position. Then, warm the oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare the Butter Mix
In a small bowl, add the butter, parsley, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lemon zest. Mash these ingredients together well.
Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat on your stove top. Add one tablespoon of regular olive oil to the pan. It’s important to use regular olive oil here, not extra-virgin. The smoke point on the regular oil is much higher than extra-virgin and will smoke less during cooking. It’s also important to have the swordfish as close to room temperature as possible. The goal with this step is to get a nice brown sear on one side of the fish. If the pan isn’t hot enough or if the fish is too cold, you won’t get the sear.
When the pan is to temperature, add the fish to it. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the fish.
Leave the fish be and let everything cook on the stove top for three minutes. After that time, flip the steaks over so the browned side is facing up.
Roast the Swordfish
At this point, the oven should be hot. Transfer the skillet to the oven and let the fish roast for seven minutes. When that’s done, remove the pan from the oven and turn off the heat.
Melt the Butter
Check the steaks for how well they’re done. They should be fine, but if they need to be finished off at all, you can do this on the stove top. Just be sure to use a potholder or towel on the hot skillet handle. Don’t overcook the steaks.
If they are finished perfectly, remove the steaks from the pan and place them on a dish. Then, warm the skillet over medium heat on your stove top. Melt the butter mixture for just a minute or so.
Plate & Serve
Divide the swordfish steaks between plates. Then, with a spoon, scoop the melted butter mixture from the pan onto the steaks. Serve while hot.
The Final Pan-Roasted Swordfish
The issues I had with this fish’s preparation were two fold. My steaks were too cold when I put them in the pan to sear and I also kept them in the oven too long. I went for the full ten minutes the original recipe called for. That was a major complaint among commenters on the Epicurious site. In the instructions I shared with you above, I removed the obstacles to a perfect cook and they should lead you to success. If you try this recipe out, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
Sable Gioia says
Excellent Recipe. Fish cooked perfectly, nice and tender. Great flavor profile with the addition of the Garlic & Pepper Butter. Restaurant Quality.