Friday, February 4, 2011

Swordfish with a spicy Chermoula Marinade and Sauce

We're off on the road to Morocco!

It's Friday, so it must be fish day!  Every week for a year, different fish recipe is the goal.  I've done a Swai (Catfish), a couple of Salmon and a Tilapia.  Today we are getting as bit more exotic with a Swordfish recipe.

Swordfish is very meaty.  Almost the texture of a ribeye instead of the usual more delicate flaky varieties.  If not prepared properly, Swordfish can quickly become about as appetizing as a boot heal.

So, two tricks.  A marinade will add juices throughout, and monitoring the internal temperature with a meat thermometer will allow you to take it off the heat just at the peak of tenderness.

My Marinade is a Chermoula, common in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.  Garlic, cilantro and lemon are the primary flavors, all mixed in an oil base.  It is terrific.  A wonderful marinade and sauce for fish.

I also served this fish with spicy Chipotle Sweet potato Grits.  The extra sauce was wonderful on the grits as well.

Here's what I did...

4 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
4 TBS Rough Cut Cilantro
1/4 cup extra Virgin Olive Oil
juice of 1 Lemon
zest from 1 Lemon

4 Swordfish Steaks
2 TBS Butter

Put all 8 of the first ingredients in a Mini food Processor (blender works great as well) and blend away until you have a chunky sauce.  Divide in half.

Marinade the fish in one half for 3-5 hours.

When ready, melt the butter in a saute pan.  Saute the fish for @4-5 minutes on each side.  BUT, be sure to measure the internal temperature as you cook.  Do not let the fish get above 140 degrees (but at least 135).

OK, to be honest, the sauce was terrific, but swordfish is an acquired taste that I have never acquired.  By far, this is the best I have ever eaten.  usually, even in restaurants, this is a fish that just gets served over cooked.  But, live and learn.  May get back to a nice flaky Tilapia next week.



  1. I love the meatiness of swordfish so I'll definitely be trying this if I can get hold of some. It can be difficult to find.

  2. This is a must try dish Dave - the marinade has all flavors I like.

  3. Swordfish is such a delicious fish. The sauce sounds great and bet that is was delish on the grits.

  4. I will gladly travel with you to Morocco and back if it means I get a taste of this sauce. Oh and you seem to have forgotten to send me a bowl of those sweet potato grits. Really, I checked my mailbox twice!

  5. ahh..I was just watching one with pimenton and garlic :) these turn out perfect!