This is another delicious seafood dish that is relatively quick to make, perfect for a weeknight meal but refined enough for a dinner party. Like it?
We really do like seafood. There are so many different varieties of seafood and it is so versatile. The problem with seafood is it can be very expensive and fresh seafood can be difficult to find in various parts of the country. Thankfully, many of the techniques and applications you use on one seafood dish will translate to other dishes. Take this dish for instance. I personally like the meaty density and flavor of the swordfish. Nevertheless, the manner of preparation can be translated to tilapia, halibut, flounder, Chilean sea bass (Patagonian toothfish), barramundi, snapper, etc. The fresher the fish, however, the better this will taste due to the delicate nature of the clam sauce. Also, should you opt for a flakier fish, i.e. tilapia and flounder, you may want to top the fish with a few diced clams for added texture. With the swordfish the sauce is just enough.
This recipe came about because I had just purchased some very fresh swordfish that had been flown into DFW from Hawaii that morning. It was gorgeous and I couldn’t turn it down. So, I didn’t. When I got home Baby Lady asked me what I had purchased and I told her swordfish. She then reminded me we had some of the soup/broth left over from the Clams Mariniere we had made the night before. Sometimes useless leftovers work out really well and Baby Lady & I have a hard time disposing of seemingly useless leftovers, especially when they have so much flavor. So, I thought about it and decided I could make a beautiful clam sauce to go with the swordfish. Coupled with an herbed couscous and this would be one flavorful dish. It was and this is what we did.
For the Fish
- 2 Swordfish filets, 6-7 oz @
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
For the Sauce
- 3/4 cup leftover broth from Clam Mariniere *
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 Tbsp flour
For the Herbed Couscous
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 tsp powdered garlic
- 3/4 cup boiling water, divided use
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup couscous
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Couscous
The couscous will take the longest time to cook and will hold while everything else is prepared; so, do it first. Add the basil to a small blender.
Then the chives,
Heat the chicken stock in a microwave (or however you choose) until it boils. Add 1/4 cup of the boiling stock to the herbs in the blender.
Process roughly 30 seconds, or until smooth.
Melt butter in a saucepan.
Add the couscous
and mix well to coat the couscous with the butter.
Now, add the herb puree
and the remaining 1/2 cup boiling stock
and mix well. Cover and let stand off the heat for 10 minutes.
For the Sauce
While the couscous is doing its thing, prepare the sauce. Start by adding the clam broth/soup to a small sauce pot over medium heat.
Allow it to heat through and simmer. Now, add the heavy cream.
Again, let this come to a simmer. Then add the flour.**
Immediately and vigorously whisk in the flour into the sauce; otherwise, it will lump and not thicken appropriately. Let this simmer to cook the flour and reduce the sauce until you get the desired consistency.
For the Swordfish
While everything else is cooking and almost done, season the swordfish filets with salt
and freshly ground black pepper.
Add 2 Tbsp oil to a heavy bottom skillet over high heat and add swordfish filets to skillet.
Sear for 90 seconds and then turn. If you like your fish done more then cook for 3 minutes.
Cook an additional 90 seconds or until you have achieved your desired doneness.
90 seconds per side will yield you are rare to medium rare with a nice crust. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 2 minutes.
Add a spoon of couscous to the plate.
Put a swordfish filet on top of the couscous.
Spoon sauce over the top of the swordfish letting it drizzle down onto the couscous below.
Serve & enjoy. 🙂
NOTES: * I realize many/most of you won’t have leftover clam broth for this dish. As a substitute for the clam broth, get either frozen clams or canned clams (I prefer frozen clams) and use the liquid – it should yield you 1/2 cup or so. Sauté 1 Tbsp of minced shallot until translucent; add 1/2 tsp minced garlic and sauté another minute; then add the clam juice, 1/4 cup of white wine and salt to taste. Reduce by 1/4 to 1/3. Add 2 Tbsp heavy cream and heat. Add the flour, cook and reduce until you achieve the thickness you desire. It is supposed to be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but if you like it thicker either reduce it further or add more flour. You must allow sufficient cooking time to allow the flour to cook; otherwise, your sauce will taste like flour. Dice the clams and add to the sauce to heat and spoon over the top of the fish.
** There are several ways to thicken a sauce. If you don’t want to use flour, you can use a cornstarch slurry. I prefer flour on this because flour will add a silky/velvety mouth feel to the sauce. You preference, however, may vary. Also, if you are worried about using straight flour, then make a roux with equal parts of flour and butter. Inasmuch as the soup already had butter and the cream has a high fat content, I didn’t want additional butterfat (the sauce would then taste too oily) which is why I used straight flour.