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Braised Swordfish in Saffron Sauce January 22, 2007

Posted by pcorcoran in Braising, Entree, Fish, Recipe, Seafood.
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2 tbsp. olive oil
4 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp. finely chopped peppers *
4 tbsp. finely chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf *
3 tbsp. brandy or cognac
1/2 cup strong chicken stock
1/4 tsp. nutmeg powder
small pinch of saffron threads
black pepper
salt (to taste, after cooking)
1-1/2 lbs. swordish steaks

Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and peppers, and cook until soft. Add tomatoes and bay leaf. Cook 5 minutes. Add brandy, stock, nutmeg, and saffron. Mix well. Add black pepper, to taste. At this point the sauce is finished and can be set aside for a few hours or refrigerated for a few days.

Bring sauce to a simmer. Add swordfish cubes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.

Serve in a decorative communal bowl, accompanied by buttered garlic toasts or crostini.

This is a delicious tapas recipe. Like much of Spanish cuisine, this dish has an exotic, don’t-taste-this-every-day flavor for those of us who didn’t grow up on the stuff. It’s also very easy to make, almost foolproof. And since the sauce can be made in advance, it can be a 10-minute dish with a little planning.

Time to prepare: 15 minutes prep + 20 minutes cooking stovetop.

Difficulty: 2/10

Serves: 4


* You can use any fresh peppers you like for this dish. I used yellow chilies, which are slightly spicy when raw but cook down to virtually no spice. Bell peppers of any color would work fine, and you could also bump up the spice by using poblanos or even jalapenos if you’re into heat. (Spicy peppers will bury the subtle flavors of this dish, but we spice fiends sometimes make this trade-off to get our kicks.)

I didn’t need to add any salt, because my stock was salty enough. If you’re in any doubt, hold off on deciding on the salt until after the fish is cooked.

The sauce is best after it has had a few hours to come together. But regardless of whether you are holding the sauce for a few hours or refrigerating for a few days, the bay leaf should be removed after cooking or the flavors will fall out of balance.