Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pan-Seared Swordfish with Zesty Guacamole

How do you begin a cooking blog? With your favorite food, of course!
Enter avocado.  I am, and have always been, obsessed with avocados.   To me, they are the perfect food.  They're creamy, they're green (which is, let's be honest here, the best color), they make your hair, skin and nails look great, they're a good fat (um, when "good" and "fat" are in the same sentence, you know it's a good thing), and they have so many recipe possibilities.  And to put it simply, they are just straight-up delicious, are they not??

I could go on and on about the little green beasts, so I thought it appropriate that my first post be about avocados.

Now, I understand this isn't technically the season for avocados, so I promise to try and be a little more appropriate on my next post :)

I'd like to introduce you to a recipe I came up with while dining at one of my favorite hometown restaurants, Peter Ott’s, back in 2002.  Long gone from the menu, it is hard to remember the original version, especially through 10 years of my adaptations (now that I think of it, it may have originally been tuna), but I am quite happy with my version.

A semi-butchered pic... I may have nibbled.

Pan-Seared Swordfish with Zesty Guacamole
(Serves 4)

  • 1 lb swordfish steaks, 1-2" thick
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 scallions (greens and whites), finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 lime
  • ½ T grape seed, vegetable or olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper
Rinse the swordfish and pat dry. Set aside. 

At this point, I like to make the guacamole so that the fish has time to warm up a bit. I don't like to shock the chilled steak by placing it directly on a hot pan.  You will obtain a better sear if the swordfish (or any meat, for that matter) hangs out in the kitchen with you before show time.
Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits.  Scoop the meat from one of the avocados into a medium sized bowl and mash until all large lumps are gone. Roughly chop the other avocado and add to the bowl. Add the scallions, garlic and the juice of half of the lime.   Mix all the ingredients.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and if you're like me- the juice from the remaining lime. I don’t have you add it all at once because some of you may prefer less zing.  To me, though, a lime encore never hurt anyone's taste buds.

Now it's time to sear the swordfish!
Season the steak(s) with salt & pepper.
Let the pan heat up for 2-3 minutes, on med-high.  Add the oil to the skillet.  I prefer a high-smoke point oil, such as grapeseed or vegetable, but you can use extra-virgin olive oil, too.  Just be prepared to see a bit of smoke (it should be white) once the fish hits the pan.
Tilt your pan to roll the oil around (it should move easily) and add the swordfish.  Let the steaks do their thing for approximately 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on their thickness).  Try not to move the steak too much prior to flipping, as it will affect the perfect sear.
While the first side cooks away, season the other side with more salt and pepper.
After the 3-4 minutes, flip the steak(s) and continue to cook for approximately 3-4 more minutes (or just until the fish is cooked through- around 125° F for medium rare).
If the fish sticks when you try to flip it, it's not ready!
Grab your plates! 

Serve the swordfish topped with the zesty guacamole!



  1. Avocados make the world go 'round! Also, I have never thought about how you should warm up meat to room temperature before cooking it. Interestinggg. Yes, it is 11 pm on a Sunday night and I am DROOLING over a recipe on the internet. I need to go to bed so I can have this for dinner tomorrow.

    1. Let me know how it turns out!!!
      Also, I usually allow fish to "warm up" for about 10 minutes and meat for 15. You don't want it to sit out too long, either :)

      Enjoy! And thanks for reading!!

  2. Man that looks delish! I usually prefer thinner cuts of sword so the outside doesn't overcook by the time the middle is pinkish. Next time I'll try your timing method and will omit cutting into it to check for doneness which kinda ruins the presentation. Is that couscous on the plate?

    1. Good luck!! Let me know how it comes out for you. And yes, that is couscous on the plate! Good eye :)

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