For the first time in my adult life, a real gas grill is sitting outside on my first-ever backyard deck. Since it was +85˚F in the Bay Area this weekend, Mr. Scrumptious and I decided to commit to making the ultimate Summer cooking purchase. Up to this point I've been using my terrific grill pan with no complaints. While the "real grill" is large and somewhat intimidating to my urban conditioning, I must say I'm thrilled about the variety and quality of tastes we can now produce. Mr. Scrumptious is the Master Grill Chef, and I'm the Sous-Chef, Saucier and Line Cook. I don't mind a bit. This weekend we did these delectable "Grilled Swordfish on Rosemary Skewers" and they blew my mind and thrilled my tastebuds!
My marinade was really delicious and the combination of these specific vegetables with the rosemary, citrus and fish was a true winner. If you haven't used kumquats before hear this: they are pure gold. Their flavor is so sweet, bright and fresh and when grilled they nearly turn to marmalade inside their skins. You eat the whole fruit, skins and all, and they're a perfect match for swordfish. Also, make sure to use white pepper; it's better than black for fish. If you like grilling, explosions of flavor, and the hefty satisfaction of smoky swordfish, try this out!
For the marinade:
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon thyme, minced
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 fresh serrano chile, seeded and minced
1/2 tsp. fresh lime zest
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp. tangelo (or tangerine) zest
1 tangelo (or tangerine), juiced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
3 T. dry white wine
1/4 c. plus 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
For the skewers:
4 long and thick rosemary branches, leaves removed 3/4 way up
2 8 oz. swordfish steaks, skinned and cut into 1/2" chunks
12 kumquats (3 per skewer)
12 tomatillos (3 per skewer) husked
12 cremini mushrooms ( 3 per skewer), cleaned and stem sliced short
1/2 red onion, cut into chunks
1. Make the marinade by combining all its ingredients into a bowl and whisking together. Cut the swordfish into chunks and place into a air-tight plastic bag. Pour in the marinade, zip the bag closed and turn and shake several seconds to coat all the fish. Place the bag into the refrigerator and let marinate 4-6 hours.
2. Take the rosemary skewers and wash thoroughly. Strip the leaves off the bottom 3/4 of the branch, leaving just a tuft at the top. Save the rosemary leaves. Place the rosemary branches in a deep, large pan and cover with water. Let the branches sit for several hours in the water so they don't burst into flames on the grill.
3. Clean and prepare the kumquats, tomatillos, mushrooms and onions. Keep everything whole except the onions. About an hour before you're ready to grill, add the fruit and vegetables to the bag with the swordfish. Shake the bag to mix together and get the marinade running over everything. Let stand at room temperature at least 30-45 minutes.
4. Get the grill preheating to between 475˚ and 500˚F. While that's working, thread the fish, fruit and vegetables onto the skewers. I found it easiest to cut the bottom of the branch into a sharp point so I didn't tear my food getting it onto the skewer. Place the skewers on a baking sheet and drizzle the marinade over everything.
5. Grill the skewers about 2-3 minutes per side, depending on your grill. Baste each side evenly with the marinade. Turn the skewers 3 times for a total of 6-9 minutes cooking time. Make sure the swordfish is opaque and slightly firm but not hard and that the veggies and fruit are delightfully tender and charred.
6. Remove the skewers from the grill and slide off the branch onto a plate using a large fork.
Enjoy with a cold beer and some banana-mustard potato salad. Dessert was simple but spectacular: sliced fresh strawberries drizzled with Meyer Memon juice, balsamic vinegar, a dusting of sugar and black pepper (yes, that's right, black pepper! It's amazing with balsamic vinegar if you haven't tried the combination) and Meyer Lemon zest. This was our wonderful and quite possibly, perfect, first weekend of summer meal!
As for the grill, it's awesome. With porcelain grates, a side sauce flame, temperatures up to 700˚F and settings for sear, grill, barbecque and ability to add wood chips for smokiness, it's going to make my summer cooking and recipes that much more fun!