Saturday, March 29, 2014

Swordfish Steaks with Jalapeño Mint Sauce

It was 38º yesterday, so I shoveled the last of the snow off the deck and got my grill ready to cook up some Cajun Pork Chops ( The smell of charcoal, mesquite and hickory was absolutely invigorating. It's a rite of passage. The death of winter and the start of spring grilling season.

One of my favorite professional grillers is Jamie Purviance. He has put together an incredible recipe that pairs two disparate flavors, jalapeño and mint, into a delicious butter sauce that he spoons over grilled swordfish steaks. It's what Gwyneth Paltrow would call "conscious coupling". Putin would say the butter is simply annexing the jalapeño and mint. Whatever. This recipe serves four and it is an absolute delight.

2 medium jalapeño chile peppers
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup minced fresh mint leaves (from 8 to 10 sprigs)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 scallions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4 swordfish steaks, each about 8 ounces and 1 inch thick
Extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 lemon wedges


  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  2. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the jalapeños over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until blackened, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Place the jalapeños in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Peel away and discard the charred skin, stems, and seeds, and then finely dice.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until melted and frothy. Mix in the jalapeños, mint, lemon juice, scallions, and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Keep warm over very low heat.
  4. Brush the swordfish steaks on both sides with oil and season evenly with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper. Grill over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until just opaque in the center but still juicy, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once.
  5. Top the swordfish steaks with jalapeno-mint butter sauce and serve warm with lemon wedges.

Wine pairing: A medium body Chardonnay 

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