Ginger Margarita Swordfish with homemade butter


I love cooking for specific occasions. Cooking is great and all, but when there is a theme or purpose ... it is just a million times more fulfilling. Maybe not a million, but still.

I'm particularly proud of the themed Downton Abbey dinners and the Julia Child meals last summer. There is a chance that I still haven't stopped sweating from making that chocolate mouse.

I haven't done nearly as much cooking recently and this weekend I got right back into it. Prepping for 3 weeks of vacation, taking the vacation, and recovering from missing vacation will make a pot of Mac and Cheese more alluring than a fresh batch of english muffins. A little Cinco de Mayo helped me bust out of that rut in a great way.

Initially I was thinking I'd attempt some version of fish tacos but a quick spin through Food52 led me to this recipe for Ginger Margarita Swordfish that I just couldn't resist. It had so many great things going for it. Tequila, Butter, Fish. It practically screamed of summer meals, which is my weakness. Another advantage was that I could make it for just one person without having leftovers. While leftovers are always great, I get nervous when it's something like fish.

This recipe basically has three steps. Make the marinade. Wait. Grill the fish. That's really it. You can use your "waiting" time to make the margarita butter. It's amazing.

The marinade definitely has a handful of ingredients and can be a little overwhelming but it's worth it. I just counted and there are TWELVE things you add. But really, it's a lot of liquids, some zest, grate some ginger, chop some red onion and you are done. I hate buying things that only have one or two uses ... so I just juiced an orange I had in my apartment as opposed to buying juice. Really. Either way is fine, you don't have to be crazy like me.

To complete the meal (and use the rest of the lime), I made my first ever homemade margarita... and it was delicious. And simple. Who knew? Please take note of the detail that I included some lime zest on the rim. I got fancy and it was a nice little add - even though I was the only one to see it.

So here's how it goes.

(Step 1) Mix all the liquids for the marinade and add the zests, ginger, onion, parsley, salt and pepper.

(Step 2) Add the steaks and chill for 45-60 minutes in a shallow glass pan.

(Step 3) On an oiled grill, cook the marinaded steaks for 3-4 minutes per side.
(Step 4) As soon as you pull the steaks from the grill, add a teaspoon of the margarita butter to the top and let it melt all over. It'll be insanely good.

You are going to want to serve this with some sort of grain or rice. I was so focused on making the butter and the concept of tequila fish that spaced on serving it with anything. Luckily, I had some cooked quinoa in the fridge leftover from salads all ready to go. Quinoa isn't exactly the best for this... I'd probably prefer a cous cous or rice in the future.

Shopping List (for 4 people)
6-7 oz swordfish steaks
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tequila
1/8 cup Cointreau
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground white pepper
lime wedges, an orange wedge, and parsley for garnish

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