The first time I tasted this fish dish it was made my by Auntie Ella and typically served on Christmas Eve along with baccala, lobster and shrimp dishes. Served on a large platter, rolls and rolls of stuffed swordfish. But then I traveled to Italy for a few months and found it on a menu in a small family-run trattoria on the waterfront in Sorrento's Marina Piccolo... a working harbor adorned with colorful boats and the freshest fish to choose from. I knew right away what I would be ordering. As we celebrate this Christmas Eve, we want you all to have a very Merry Christmas, be thankful for past blessings, and we look with hope to the New Year ahead. Best wishes to you and yours for a happy & healthy holiday season. Buon Natale!
Auntie Ella's Stuffed Swordfish Rolls
3 TBLS olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
5 oz fresh swordfish, minced
a sprig of basil
1 TBLS fresh flat-leafed parsley, minced
1 TBLS fresh oregano, minced
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 anchiove filets, rinsed & chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
zest of 1 lemon
1 TBLS fresh lemon juice
3 oz sharp provolone cheese, finely diced
pinch of chili flakes
sea salt, ground pepper
8 oz thinly sliced swordfish- which is easily done if it's partially frozen
Put a skillet on moderate heat with a little olive oil. Add the onion and gently fry. As soon as the onion begins to color, add the minced swordfish, basil, parlsey, oregano and breadcrumbs. Fry gently for 5 minutes so the flavors will blend. Set aside to cool down a bit. Once cooled, put the mixture in a food processor along with the provolone, eggs,anchioves, lemon rind, lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt, ground pepper and a pinch of chili flakes and mix pulsing for just a moment or two.
Prepare the swordfish steaks by lightly pounding them between 2 pieces of waxed paper.. lightly enough so that you don't tear the fish. Divide your filling mixture among the swordfish slices. Coat each portion of mixture with olive oiled hands and make a mini-loaf roll. Roll up the fish over the filling and fasten with skewers or toothpicks. I tried twine lacing my swordfish rolls, but it didn't hold up well...so stick to the skewers. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the skewered swordfish and grill/or broil for 6-8 minutes on each side. Baste with oregano sauce and serve with lemon slices.
This is a simple sauce, that's super with any grilled or broiled fish.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup hot water
juice of two lemons
pinch of sea salt
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 tsp fresh oregano, minced
Pour the olive oil into a small pan. Add the warmed water, lemon juice. Whisk together. Add sea salt, garlic & oregano. Whisk again while heating. Baste your fish while it is grilling and be sure to serve a bit in a warmed sauce dish as a side. Enjoy!
As I wasn't able to make it to Joe of Italyville's Feast of the Seven Fishes celebration, I'm still going to send this along to him. Who knows, you may want to try this yummy dish for your New Years menu.