Grilled Swordfish with Mustard

I love grilled swordfish, but I have limited my consumption because of the popular, and as I have discovered, probably incorrect assumption that it is endangered. Also, swordfish tend to concentrate methylmercury, and I like my mercury in thermometers, not in my food, so that was certainly a concern. But, damn, swordfish is really, really good!

Well, I am weak, so you know where this is going. Whole Foods had some really nice-looking swordfish steaks on sale for less than our mortgage payment, so I took the chance of dying a horrible death and picked up a 1-inch thick steak. One of the things that I noticed about these steaks is that they didn’t have very much of the dark red meat from near the spine (I think) that tastes rather strong and, quite frankly, unpleasant.

One of the problems with swordfish is that it isn’t particularly fatty, so it is easy to dry it out on the grill. I decided to marinate it for a bit in mustard and garlic, but I was also inspired to ask for help. Mom said to add a bit of mayonnaise to the mustard and garlic. Huh? That sounded faintly disgusting, but she is a far, far better cook than I, so I wasn’t going to argue until it turned out to be, in fact, disgusting. Needless to say, it was great. Why? I have no idea, but it worked perfectly. The mustard and garlic added a bit of tang, and the mayonnaise added a smooth, subtly creamy texture. Give it a try, and if you don’t like it, you can blame my mother.

1-inch swordfish steak (enough for two people)
3 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. mayonnaise

garlic clove, minced fine

Whisk everything together and smear the mixture all over the swordfish. Cover and refrigerate until 15 minutes before you cook it.

Preheat the grill on surface-of-the-sun setting, making sure that the grill is immaculately clean. If necessary, after it is hot, wipe it with a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil. Use tongs!

When the grill is very hot and very clean, slide the swordfish off the plate directly onto the grill surface. Do not move it! Do not prod it! Do not touch it! Close the cover and cook for 3 1/2 minutes. Using the biggest spatula you have, flip the steak carefully. Try to slide the spatula under the fish in one motion. Cover and grill for another 3 1/2 minutes. Remove from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before you serve it. This cooking time is for a rare steak, which is the only way to eat swordfish. But if you insist, add 1 minute on each side for medium (or well done — it cooks quickly).

P.S. I liked this dish so much that I made it again last night. I added
½ tsp. of pesto sauce to the mustard mixture. Not enough to flavor it much, but it added an interesting taste. Next time, I will add more.

2 Replies to “Grilled Swordfish with Mustard”

  1. I tried grilled swordfish during the summer for the first time. I loved it. It was in a fish taco. The first time I can find some to grill (we don’t have a Whole Foods in Mississippi), I’m going to try your recipe. Thanks.

  2. It’s great on the grill, and I think my recipe will work in a sauté pan inside as well. And you should probably consider yourself lucky that you don’t have a Whole Foods.  I go there occasionally because it is convenient, but the prices can be outrageous, and I am not impressed at all by the quality of the produce.

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