This recipe was culled from Bella Naija.
What inspired me to creating this dish was not just about cooking something fast, but a fond memory from a trip to Malta where I had this delicious grilled swordfish for the very first time at this gorgeous restaurant overlooking St Julians Bay. People have auditory memories, or olfactory memories, I have taste memories. If I eat something I really like, that memory stays with me for a very long time, and when I get the chance to recreate that dish, the memories of the first time I tasted it, just comes flooding back. Yes I’m nostalgic like that with food. Lol.
For my very first visit to Billingsgate Fish Market weeks ago Swordfish and Tuna were at the top of my list. Billingsgate is the market where you have to leave home as early as 5am otherwise the stock is gone – yes, I love food like that and the prices are cheap, or I thought so until I wanted to buy swordfish. The price tag made me open my eyes in shock. I walked away in annoyance. I am not buying oysters, caviar, scallops or lobster. It is just swordfish (sobs, sobs). Imagine my pain, I left home at “stupid o’clock”. Anyone that knows me will know waking up at 4.30am is completely out of character. I can use sleep as an Olympic sport. Lol. Luckily I found this stall who wanted to get rid of their last stock so they slashed the price. I was a very happy bunny, I tell you.
So, today I’m paying homage to San Giuliano restaurant for introducing me to swordfish and for giving me a free cocktail. As Malta is an island in the Mediterranean, what better way to honour it than a Mediterranean inspired dish but with a Nigerian twist and most importantly fast! So, instead of reheating frozen food, or getting the takeout menu, or going to a restaurant, why don’t I bring the restaurant into your home?
Do you only get to enjoy grilled fish at that special place you go to with your friends, family or significant other, and have you ever considered that you could re-create this in your home? Yes you can, with an extra dimension going beyond the chopped onions and red chilli that is grilled and served with the fish you eat at joints. So, do you have green olives in your cupboard that you only reserve for serving with Martinis? How about I show you another way to use olives in a quick recipe you can enjoy after work.
This recipe serves one with an average prep time of 5 minutes. Cooking time is 10 – 15 minutes.
So you’ll need:
1 Swordfish fillet – any firm white fish will do – Tuna, Monkfish, Grouper etc. If you have whole fish, simply score it with a knife on both sides and grill. This can work with even Croaker fish. If you have pre cut pieces of fish in your freezer, let it defrost in the fridge overnight, or just before you go to work, bring it out from the freezer and place in the fridge
½ cup of halved cherry tomatoes
1/3rd cup of halved pitted green olives – if you can’t find olives, you can use mushrooms, thickly sliced green bell pepper or chopped celery stick
1 clove of garlic
1 Ata Rodo (scotch bonnet or habanero pepper)
1 small red onion
½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp thyme
Seasoning cube – preferred Knorr Chicken cube
Here’s how to:
- Halve your cherry tomatoes and green olives. Follow the measurements stated and set aside
- Chop the Ata Rodo, onion and garlic
- In a dish big enough to hold your fish, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, sprinkle in half a seasoning cube, salt, curry, thyme, and 1 tablespoon of Olive oil
- Add your chopped ingredients from Step 2, and whisk with a fork.
- Place the fish in the dish and scoop some of the marinade on top of it, cover with cling film or foil paper, and leave to marinade in the fridge for 10mins
- Coat your grill pan lightly with olive oil before placing it over high heat
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip #1 – I opted for a grill pan, because I love seeing grill marks – personal preference. You can grill in an oven if you wish.
- Remove the fish from the marinade, and scrape off any bits, so they don’t burn in the pan
- Grill the fish over high heat for 3 – 5 minutes on each side
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip #2 – Depending on the thickness of the fish. Watch it closely, and turn every 2 minutes, so it doesn’t burn
- Remove from the grill and place in the oven to keep warm
- Empty your marinade into a hot frying pan and sauté for 2 minutes until the onions and the garlic soften
- Turn down the heat, and add the tomatoes and the olives followed by a tablespoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of water, to get some sauce. Cook for 2minutes, be careful it doesn’t dry up
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip #3 – You may wish to add a little water or better still drain the juice left over in the grill pan if you want some more sauce. Be careful not to drown the sauce though, and also remember to taste for salt and seasoning
- Sprinkle in your chopped parsley. About a table spoon of parsley would do
- Plate the fish and pour the sauce over it. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip #4 – To prevent the fish from getting get cold while you make the sauce, I would advise that you grill the fish and make the sauce simultaneously
If you are health conscious, this should do for a meal, otherwise a side of chips, or a small portion of boiled rice, yam or a baguette would do. Due to the brief cooking time and minimal effort this can serve as a romantic meal for two. Some of your wine pairing options are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon to mention a few. I vote Chardonnay. It’s Friday night people, bring the restaurant into your home and dine in for two. wink*, wink*.