Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Swordfish with Pancetta Vinaigrette

                                                                  “Who are you?”
                                                 “I’m fine, thanks. Who are you?”
                             “I’m fine, too, but you can’t come in unless you give the password…
                                            I give you three guesses…..It’s the name of a fish.”
                                                                    “Is it Mary?”*

One Dude. One pan. One Meal.
I rarely talk about other cookbooks but having just riffed on its title I feel it deserves a mention. The book is Two Dudes One Pan, by Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. The concept behind the book is that you don’t need a lot of equipment in order to cook great food. The book is filled with recipes that can be made in one pan, if you cook in the proper order. It’s a method that all chefs use but often utilizing more than one pan. The book comes from their personal experience as caterers where they were often short on space and equipment. I bought the book for oldest daughter’s southern beau, who doesn’t enjoy cooking as much as his better half. But on some nights he’s on dinner duty. And that no longer means making a phone call.
Shook and Dotolo are no longer short on space or equipment. They are chef/owners of Animal and Two if By Sea as well as partners with Ludo Lefebvre at Trois Mec and the recently opened Petit Trois, all highly successful and highly acclaimed restaurants in Los Angeles. No easy feat.
This recipe fits into the same concept. Everything can be prepared using only one pan. And this simple and quick sauce isn’t limited only to fish, but is good with chicken, pork, or turkey cutlets.
Pancetta is fairly widely available. I used pancetta that’s packaged already diced. You can use any type of acid, not only Sherry vinegar. Any vinegar or the juice from a lemon or lime will work.
If you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready- your mise en place- dinner will follow in short order.

Swordfish with Pancetta Vinaigrette
For two servings
Two 6 ounce swordfish steaks
3 Tablespoons diced pancetta
2 Tablespoons minced shallot or onion
1 or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
12- 14 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
salt and ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

1. Place a large sauté pan onto the stove over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl 2 to 3 tablespoon olive oil into the pan. Add the pancetta and sauté until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the cooked pancetta from the pan and drain it on paper towels. Drain and reserve all but two tablespoons of oil from the pan.
2. Season the swordfish with salt and ground black pepper. Place the fish into the pan and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, depending on the thickness, then turn and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. (Cooking times will vary. A 1” thick piece of fish takes 10 minutes total cooking time for well done so adjust the time to suit the thickness of your fish and your favored degree of doneness).
3. Remove the swordfish from the pan and set it aside, covered.
4. Let the pan cool for a moment or two, then return it to the heat. Add a swirl of olive oil to the pan. Add the shallot or onion and briefly sauté for about a minute. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook for a minute or two to soften the tomatoes. Add the garlic and cooked pancetta to the pan and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Check the pan; there should be about 3 tablespoons olive oil in the pan; if not add a little more. Add the vinegar to the pan, stir, and add the parsley. Remove pan from heat.
4. Spoon some of the sauce onto each plate. Top with the swordfish and divide the remaining sauce, spooning it over the fish. Serve.

                 *It should need no introduction. From the Marx Brothers classic, “Horsefeathers.”   
                                                         (“I think I got it! Is it swordfish?”)

("or with turkey......") 

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