Sunday, June 12, 2011

Swordfish on leeks

Leeks look like hairy, skinny onions. In the allium world they are the scrawny teenage boy who just learned to grow a mustache, which is totally off-putting. But they turn tender and sweet when they are braised on the stovetop and they make a nice nest for meaty swordfish steaks.
Peel off the toughest outer layer and split your leeks in half longwise. You can trim the ends if you like, but I left them on because I think they look neat--just don't eat them.Leeks are always a bit sandy. Wash them well by swishing them in a bowl of cold water and letting all the dirt settle out while you do other things.Swordfish was on sale at Whole Foods! It's delicious but we barely ever eat it because of the over-fishing issues and the cost. But I figured if it was on sale they probably had a lot of it and who wants any waste of such a top fish?Salt, pepper, and marinate very lightly for 30 minutes with a tablespoon of olive oil and the juice from 1/2 lemon, plus a few slices cut from the squeezed out half.Melt about 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat and add in your (drained and dried) leeks.They'll start to get a little bit soft after 5 minutes or so; add in 1/4 cup chicken stock and a drizzle of white wine. Let them cook for another 10 minutes.Meanwhile, zest a small lemon (or do doubleduty and take the zest from the half lemon you used earlier, if it's big enough).Add the zest to the leeks along with another 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1/4 cup or so more white wine. Cover and turn the heat up to medium-high for 7 minutes, then check on them.They should be dry and looking like this with some yummy browned bits.Flip them around and add in a bit more wine (just pour it out from the glass you're drinking out of anyway) and a splash more chicken stock to deglaze the fond. Add also the lightest sprinkle of sugar, plus salt and pepper. Let it cook down for 5 minutes.Meanwhile, that's practically all the time you need to finish your swordfish steaks! Get your broiler cranked up and put in your swordfish steaks with some olive oil in the pan. Let them cook for 3 minutes per side then remove from heat.The leeks cooked off all their liquid and are lying there exhausted.Pile them into a bed on some couscous...And hello there! Swordfish on top.Enjoy! Have another glass of wine. You've earned it.

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