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GRILLED SWORDFISH WITH GREEK SALAD SALSA AND "OUZO ORZO"

Recipe Source: Chef Craig Flinn

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Besides gathering a few ingredients, this is an exceedingly simple but delicious recipe that is elegant and impressive when served. The key to swordfish is to avoid overcooking. Orzo pasta is pretty common these days in pasta isles, but if you have difficulty finding it (it looks like rice) then use any pasta you want. Although I use the Greek salad as a garnish here, you can serve it on the side in a much larger quantity and enjoy this dish as a lighter lunch entree.

Greek Salad Salsa:

½ red onion, finely chopped
½ red pepper, finely chopped
½ green or yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 medium ripe tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 english cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup diced kalamata olives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together…refrigerate until ready to serve.

“Ouzo Orzo” Pasta:

2 cups dried orzo pasta
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup fennel bulb, minced
2 tbsp butter
2 oz ouzo
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup 35% heavy cream
2 tbsp chopped fennel fronds or parsley (optional)
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the orzo in a pot of salted boiling water until cooked but still el dente, strain and run the pasta under cold water. Set aside while you make the sauce. (Note: this is especially helpful if you want to cook the orzo ahead of time. However, you can do this and the sauce at the same time and skip the step of chilling the pasta in cold water.)

For the sauce, sauté the shallots, garlic, and fennel in butter until soft, then add the ouzo…flambé with a match or lighter to burn off the alcohol. Add stock and cream and bring pan to a full boil and reduce by half, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Then add the orzo and heat through. Stir in fennel fronds or parsley and fresh parmesan cheese.

Grilled Swordfish:

6 X 6 oz fillets cut about 1 ¼” thick
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
juice of ½ a lemon

Drizzle the olive oil over the fish and pat the fillets with your hands, coating the fish completely with oil so it glistens but that the oil isn’t dripping off. Less oil here will prevent flare-ups on your grill. Preheat your barbecue on high and clean the grill very well, even oiling it if possible with an oilcloth. Sear the fish for 2 minutes on the first side, then turn the fish 90 degrees and set down again (this will help create the pretty grill marks). Cook for about 90 seconds and flip to the second side…cook for about 3 minutes and remove from the grill. Set aside and season with salt and pepper and a few drops of lemon juice.

PRESENTATION:

Make a pile of orzo in the center of a white heated dinner plate (I use an ice cream scoop to keep it neat and tidy). Place the swordfish on top and then a nice big spoonful of salsa on top of the grilled fish. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the works if desired and serve!

Makes 6 entrée portions