We’re Cooking: Seared Swordfish with Serrano Ham and Tomato Olive Chutney

In anticipation of going to Spain in early March I am embracing cooking with more Spanish influenced ingredients…..Serrano ham, Marcona almonds, loads of olives and of course olive oil, as it is as present and representative of the country as it is in Italy.  We had some friends over for Valentine’s Day who love a good, but healthy meal as much as I do.  This recipe could work with any flaky white fish.  I had originally intended to get halibut but couldn’t find any that looked good so went with swordfish instead.  The texture and rich flavor of the fish stood well on its own, and married to the Mediterranean flavors of the chutney beautifully.  Wrapping the fish with the ham and slowly warming it through kept the fish moist as we enjoyed our salad course and added just a nice, light, salty bite to the meal.  We served ours on creamy polenta with herbs, made with chicken stock instead of water to give it some extra flavor and finished it with just a touch of fat-free half and half to keep the side virtually fat free.


Seared Swordfish with Serrano Ham and Tomato Olive Chutney
For the fish:
2 pounds swordfish, make sure the blood line is still bright red.  You can keep the skin on the fish to keep it moist while cooking, just remove before serving.  Should be two large pieces that you will cut in half for 4 portions.
1 tablespoon olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
4 – 6 slices Serrano ham

For the sauce:
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1 small zuchinni, chopped thin
1 stalk celery, choppped fine
1/2 red pepper, chopped thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped olives, we used a combo of garlic marinated Manzanilla olives and Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 large canned artichoke hearts, rinsed and chopped
1 can roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock, or water

To make the sauce:  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan on medium heat.  Add the onions, zucchini, red pepper, celery  and cook for 5-7 minutes as the veggies start to soften.  Add the garlic and season with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook for 3 more minutes.  Add the dried spices, rosemary and thyme, anchovy paste and tomato paste.  Stir to coat and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the olives, capers and tomatoes (with their juice) and stir well to incorporate into the sauce.  Add the Sherry wine and vinegar, lemon juice and stock and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Add the basil and cook for another 5 minutes.  Serve on top of the fish.

To make the fish:  Pre-heat oven to 250.  Season both sides of the fish liberally with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven safe saute pan over medium high heat.  Lay the swordfish in the pan and squeeze 1/2 lemon over all of the fish.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Flip the fish over, squeeze the other half of lemon juice over the fish, and cook on the other side for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Sprinkle each piece of fish with a bit of lemon zest, then very carefully (the fish and pan are both very hot) wrap each piece of fish with a piece of ham (or two if the fish is large).  You want to ham to completely cover the top, so wrap it so the ends touch underneath the fish.  Place the fish back in the pan, with the ends of the ham facing down, under the fish, and place in the oven.  Warm through for about 5 minutes, but we had it in for about 10 minutes and the fish was moist, the ham had just started to crisp a bit, and the overall flavor was incredible.  Serve on top of polenta or saffron rice with the sauce on top.

One comment

  1. Can’t get any better than this. You are having great success with your adventure in cooking. Nice job Hay. You never disappoint.


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