Swordfish and salsa

I am not sure what prompted me many years ago to stop at a nearby truck to purchase some fish. Somehow the idea of fish from a truck in NW Connecticut did not seem promising, especially located some 2 hours from the coast. At the time the truck was maintained by an elderly Frenchman and his family. They travelled on Thursday to the coast to get fresh fish and sold it on Friday and Saturday. He had been a chef in NYC and Washington DC and could cut a piece of fish to the nearest ounce. After his death the truck was maintained by his daughter-in-law, then his granddaughter and now a family friend, though the business remains in the family. Although some fish is precut, there are always large slabs that can be cut to measure. This is especially helpful for swordfish. This is a fish I never order in restaurants because it is always too thin and dried out. I have friends who refuse to eat swordfish because they find it "tough".

I love to cook swordfish on the grill with some natural charcoal and mesquite wood chips. I purchase one immensely thick slice of fish, close to 2 inches and marinate it in some oil, lime juice, salt and pepper for about an hour. I set up the grill with the charcoal on one side so that I have a hot and cold zone for cooking. Just before cooking I put some mesquite next to the coals. After searing the fish on both sides over the coal I move the fish to the cool side and cover the grill. It is usually done in 15 minutes. Since it is on the cool side and very thick an extra minute or two won't dry out the fish. Instead of cutting the fish into serving sizes, I slice it like London broil. If there are any leftovers they are terrific in a salad the next day. And if you don't want to mess with a grill it probably could be cooked on a stove top grill pan by searing it first on high heat and then cooking slowly on a lower heat setting.

I love to serve the swordfish with some salsa/relish. For a modest quantity to serve 3 or 4 I will mix together half a chopped Vidalia onion, a diced red or yellow or orange pepper, a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half (or a whole tomato diced) and a diced peach, or nectarine or mango. I like to put in cilantro but any herb that you like would work. I toss it all with some oil and lime or lemon juice, salt and pepper. It is very pretty and delicious with the grilled swordfish, whether you cook the fish outdoors on a grill or inside on a grill pan.

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