Tasty treasures in the clearance aisle

Originally appeared in the August 30, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

Impulse buys.  When it comes to consumer compulsion—whether it be conversion to a “smart” phone, or giving in to that gotta-have-it gadget expertly positioned in the check-out lane—I typically have the wherewithal to stave off such temptation.  But when it comes to the gotta-have-it compunction of gastronomy, I must admit that I am a rather impressionable culinary consumer.

Take the centerpiece of this week’s dish: Swordfish.  I picked up this hearty specimen in the clearance section of my local market; and while I’m not ignorant to the likelihood that this product had at one time been frozen before being thawed and packaged, I still believe a cut of this stature has some redeeming qualities, particularly for those home-cooks with their eyes on their checking account, and their hearts (to mix metaphors) on the nourishment of their family.

There’s nothing wrong with snagging a clearance cut of meat or discount fillet of fish, but I implore you make haste (read, don’t procrastinate and let it linger in your fridge).  Enjoy your swordfish with a simply-dressed salad of thinly peeled asparagus and radicchio.

So don’t be self-conscious about surveying the clearance section at your local market.  Who knows what tasty treasures you’re apt to find.


Pan-seared swordfish with asparagus and radicchio

Serves 2

  • 1 large swordfish steak
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • A few pinches of sugar
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 4 – 6 ounces fresh asparagus, peeled lengthwise
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radicchio
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1.  Bring one quart of water to a boil.  Meanwhile, and using a vegetable peeler, thinly cut asparagus lengthwise.  Thinly slice radicchio and combine with fresh herbs.  When water is ready, add asparagus; blanch briefly (no more than 15 seconds) before thoroughly draining and plunging into ice water to stop the cooking process.  Drain again and combine with radicchio mixture.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, vinegar, red pepper, sugar, salt and pepper until mixture emulsifies.  Set aside.

2.  In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add a bit of olive oil.  Season swordfish with kosher salt and pepper before gently adding to pan.  Sear fish on both sides, allowing to cook as you do so, until exterior is golden.  After removing fish from pan, allow to rest for several minutes.

3.  Pour dressing over asparagus mixture and gently toss to coat.  Serve swordfish on top of the asparagus salad.


Published in: on August 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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