Monday, July 27, 2009

Food: Swordfish Milanese

I don't normally fear cooking new foods, but for years, swordfish struck me as being very intimidating. I could probably attribute some of this hesitation to the first time I tried the fish. Years ago when I attended my very first Homecoming dance in High School, my date treated me to dinner at a nice restaurant. It was here I tried swordfish for the first time, and as with many foods we try for the first time, it seemed so exotic and different - something almost out of reach. And since it's not something you see on menus very often, it was years after ordering swordfish for the first time that I tasted it again. However, due to this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis, I now eat (and cook!) it several times a year. So what is is about this recipe I love? Four Words: Fast, Simple, Crispy, Delicious.

Although I think the original recipe below is perfect (adapted for 2 rather than 4 servings), I tend to mix up what I serve with the basic fish. Normally I follow Giada's recipe and top it with a lemony, arugula salad. But this time I was in the mood for some sweet and tangy flavors (in addition to a summery Hoegaarden) and I ended up serving the fish with with a sweet-tart, three bean salad (recipe to follow in a future blog entry...for the salad, not the beer). .

Giada Swordfish Milanese Motown MaidenSwordfish Milanese

Original Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:

  • 1 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 swordfish steaks, each about 1/2-inch-thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Directions:
  • Place the panko in a pie dish.
  • In another pie dish, beat the eggs to blend.
  • Line a large cutting board with plastic wrap. Place 2 swordfish steaks on plastic wrap, about 2 inches apart. Place another sheet of plastic wrap over the steaks. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or a heavy rolling pin, gently flatten the swordfish steaks to 1/4-inch thick. Remove top plastic wrap and sprinkle the swordfish with salt and pepper on both sides. Set
  • Dip each steak into the egg, then the panko, coating completely and patting to adhere.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy large pan over medium-high heat. Place coated swordfish steaks in pan and cook until brown and crisp and just cooked through in the middle, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer to a cooling rack set on a baking sheet and lightly tent with foil to keep warm (do not seal with foil or the breading will become soggy).

Lemony Arugula Salad:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups lightly packed arugula
  • 1 bunch watercress, stemmed

Directions:

  • Whisk the lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl to blend.
  • Add the arugula and watercress, and toss lightly to coat.
  • Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the swordfish steaks to plates. Top with the salad and serve.

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