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Swordfish with Butter Compound


Swordfish with compound butter, delicata squash and haricot verts almandine

I bought this swordfish frozen at Trader Joe’s. What I like about buying fish frozen is that you can pretty much count on it for being the freshest available—outside of catching it yourself or from the local fish monger. Frozen fish is caught, then immediately frozen, which is what makes it so fresh. Next time you are buying fish, note that if it says, “previously frozen”; if it does, you don’t know how long it’s been hanging around defrosted. Not to say it isn’t good, but that buying frozen or locally will give you the freshest fish.

No time to defrost that frozen fish? There are two recipes here, one for cooking frozen and one

Compound butter is super easy to make and transforms a plain piece of fish. The secret is to allow the butter to get nice and soft before mixing in the remaining ingredients.

Swordfish with Butter Compound


Avocado oil

Salt and pepper



Dry fish. Preheat oven to 500. Heat oven proof pan on stove on high and add a bit of avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper and brown on both sides. Put into oven for 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness. Fish should be opaque.


Dry fish. Preheat oven to 500. Put oil in oven proof pan and turn stove to high. Salt and pepper fish. Sear one side 3-5 minutes, flip and put into oven 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness. Fish should be opaque.

Butter compound

2 ounces butter, softened

Zest of one lemon

1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper

Combine ingredients

Squeeze lemon juice on fish and add a dollop of butter compound on fish.

Garlicky Tomato Swordfish over Spaghetti Squash

Garlicky Tomato Swordfish over Spagetti Squash

Make this delicious (and easy) dish and you won’t miss the carbs at all! It is packed with flavor and textures and the spaghetti squash is the perfect (low carb) vehicle for the sauce. You can also substitute spiralized zucchini for the squash.

I like to add kale or baby spinach because then it is a complete meal in a bowl.

This is an easy meal to prepare, but you can really impress friends or family with it.

Note that you will need a good quality, sharp, heavy Chef’s knife to cut through the spaghetti squash. Having quality knives is essential if you do any real cooking and the absence of a good knife makes cooking difficult and a real drag. My favorite knives are Wusthof.

Good knives are an investment, but you only need to buy them once, along with a sharpener. The essentials:

  •  Chef knife (8″ or 10″)
  • Paring or utility (3″)
  • Long serrated bread knife
  • Carving/slicing knife (10″)

Garlicky Tomato Swordfish over Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4

Cooking Garlicky Tomato Swordfish over Spaghetti Squash

1 large can crushed or diced tomato

½-1 whole head garlic, diced and divided in half

Extra virgin olive or avocado oil

1 lemon, zested and juiced

Handful flat parsley, large stems removed and chopped

½ cup white wine or chicken stock

12 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped

16-24 ounces swordfish, cut into bite-sized pieces

Salt and pepper

1 head Kale, spine removed and cut into small pieces or baby spinach (optional)

1 spaghetti squash (recipe below)

Parmesan cheese for serving, shredded

Heat cast iron pot or heavy casserole on medium high and coat bottom with oil. Add swordfish, slat and pepper and sauté on each side until lightly brown. Remove fish, along with any juices.

Heat pan on medium low and add more oil and sauté half the garlic until fragrant, about a minute. Add olives, tomato, and accumulated fish juice and bring to a gently boil, then lower and cook for 30 minutes.

Add fish and cook an additional 10 minutes. If you are using kale, add with fish; add baby spinach just before done.

Mix parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, and remaining garlic. Remove the pot from heat and add raw ingredients or put on top of individual portions. Serve over spaghetti squash. Sprinkle with shredded parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti Squash

Cooked Spaghetti Squash

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. You will need a heavy and sharp chef’s knife for this. You can score it a few times if you have trouble cutting through.

Rub a little olive oil rubbed the cut side of the squash and add some salt and pepper. Place cut side down on parchment paper on an oven safe tray or pan.

Bake 40-50 minutes, until edges begin to caramelize. Allow to cool a few minutes and use a fork to get all the strands of “spaghetti” out.

Strands of Spaghetti Squash

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Brazilian Style Fish

Brazilian Style Fish
Brazilian Style Fish

I had a version of this recipe at my friend’s house several years ago and loved it. Am not sure why it took me so long to finally make it, but it is delicious and it will be making more frequent visits to my dinner table. It is very easy and it makes a terrific meal for entertaining. If you are eating food high in carbs, rice and/or bread would make a nice addition.

Like Chioppino, there is something about fish in a tomato base that is just so fresh tasting and delicious.

My friend used Monkfish, but I couldn’t find any, so I used Swordfish. Note: if you see Monkfish, “the poor man’s lobster,” grab it—it’s a meaty and tasty fish. Try this recipe with it or Mark Bittman’s Monkfish with Meatsauce.

Good choices for this recipe are any firm-fleshed fish like Mahi Mahi or shellfish.

I added baby spinach a zucchini “pasta,” so the dish is a complete meal and I served it in a bowl with spoons.

Brazilian Style Fish

Serves four

1 1/2 lbs. monkfish, swordfish, mahi mahi or other firm-fleshed fish or shellfish cut into bite sized chunks

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 – 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped finely (or use a pinch of ground cayenne)

1 red or orange bell pepper seeded and sliced

2 stalks celery chopped

1”  fresh ginger chopped

8 large cloves garlic chopped and divided

28 oz. can peeled whole tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1/4 tsp cinnamon (this may not sound like a lot, but it is the perfect amount)

Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

6 ounces baby spinach

2-3 medium zucchini, julienned

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 C cilantro chopped

  1. Sauté jalapeño, onions, peppers, celery, ginger and half the garlic in oil until the vegetables are softened.
  2. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, cinnamon and salt. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add coconut milk and fish and cook until done, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add spinach and zucchini for a minute
  5. Just a minute before fish is done, add remaining chopped garlic.
  6. When fish is done, add lime juice and half of cilantro. Correct seasoning, adding salt, cayenne, cinnamon or more coconut milk as desired.
  7. Serve garnished with remaining cilantro and lime wedges.


Copyright © 2020 Norma Lehmeier Hartie