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Grilled Swordfish with Thyme, Oregano, Marjoram, Garlic, and Olive Oil.

Grilled Swordfish with Thyme, Oregano, Marjoram, Garlic, and Olive Oil.

Serves 2.

Why this recipe: The number one reason it is delicious. The second reason is that it is easy and it presents a method to cook fish you can adopt to other fish besides swordfish. Third, swordfish is possibly my favorite fish, because its flesh is meaty and well marbled with fat. It compares to eating a beef steak. It can really stand up to the intense flavors of this recipe.

If you know the signs to look for, it is easy to tell if the swordfish is fresh. One sign of freshness is the blood line in the center of the swordfish steak: it should be bright red, as shown in the photo. Look at the photo. You can see the bright red blood line in the center of the steak. The color of the blood line is the freshness indicator. If the blood line is red, the fish is fresh. Also notice, in the photo, the white rings of marbled fat. That is another indicator of quality. Now that you know this, you can always pick out a good piece for this very tasty recipe, which is so easy to prepare.

Time requirement: 8 minutes to cook, 30 minutes to marinade, time to get the grill going.

What you will need:

A charcoal or gas covered grill.

An aluminum or cast-iron sizzling pan that can go on the grill.

A 1-pound swordfish steak about 1-1¼ inch thick.

¼ teaspoon salt.

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.

1 sprig of thyme, about 8 inches (or two 4 inches pieces, etc.).

1 sprig of oregano, about 6 inches long.

1 spring of marjoram, about 6 inches long.

¼ cup olive oil.

1 garlic glove, through a garlic press.


Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat dry. Apply salt and pepper and set on the sizzling pan. Set aside.

Remove the leaves from the thyme, oregano, and marjoram. Discard the stems and finely chop the leaves. Sprinkle the herbs on each side of the swordfish, turning it several times on the pan to assure an even coating. Then pour the olive pile over the fish in the pan. Turn the fish several times on the pan to assure it is evenly coated with olive oil and herbs.

Now, the safe thing is put the fish, in its pan, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 2 hours to marinade. I, however, leave it out on the counter to come to room temperature before I cook it. This is, of course, against all food safety rules. You decide what you want to do. (Alternative time savers: you could prepare this in the morning, place it in the refrigerator all day, and have it ready when you get home from work in the evening. Or if there is just isn’t time, cut the marinade time to the time it takes to prepare the grill.)

When you are ready to cook, light your gas or charcoal grill to a moderate heat. You do not need a supper hot grill.

While the grill is readying, put the garlic through the garlic press and spread the garlic on each side of the fish.

When the grill is ready, remove the fish from the sizzling pan. With the back side of a knife, scrape off the herbs and garlic from the fish back into the sizzling pan. If left on the fish, these items will burn.

The cook time depends on the thickness of the fish. For a swordfish steak about 1 to 1¼ inches thick, it will need 8 minutes. For the best results cook the fish 8 minutes flipping 4 times:

Grill 2 minutes, flip, cover the grill.

Grill 2 more minutes, flip, cover the grill.

At four minutes, place the sizzling pan on the grill. Do not place it directly over the fire. We want the sizzling pan to get warm so the garlic and herbs sizzle, but not burn!

Grill 2 more minutes, flip, cover the grill.

Grill 2 more minutes, flip, cover the grill.

After 8 minutes total, place the fish on the sizzling pan which should be fragrant with garlic and herbs sizzling in the olive oil. Serve the fish from the pan.

A note about doneness:

If you are not certain if the fish is done, use an instant read meat thermometer. At 125 degrees F the fish is done. Swordfish is very forgiving, so you can go to 140 degrees F and still have a pleasantly moist fish, with the assurance you’ve cooked it to government safety standards.

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