The steak of the sea deserves a hearty avocado sauce on top

FAST & FRESH

April 08, 1992|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,Contributing Writer

Eating more seafood sounds like a great idea. It's delicious and makes a healthful change from steak and hamburger. But coming up with new ways to jazz it up can sometimes be the difficult part. This simple rendition of swordfish Santiago quickly transports the taste buds south of the border for a lively meal.

Full-bodied swordfish can be considered the "steak" of the seafood realm and deserves a vibrant topping. Smoky grill flavors nicely complement the hardiness of the fish and the tangy lime sauce with which it is served, but broiling is a fine alternative. Tuna, salmon or orange roughy also work well in the recipe.

The Santiago sauce is a thinner but chunkier concoction than that other "green stuff" -- the ubiquitous guacamole. It's also great on omelets, baked potatoes, poultry or used as a dip. Season with Tabasco to suit your taste but sample as you go.

Serve the swordfish with Spanish rice and lemon sorbet or sherbet garnished with shavings of chocolate for dessert.

Items you should have in your pantry include: white wine Worcestershire sauce, fresh garlic, scallions, Tabasco, chicken broth and semi-sweet chocolate (block).

Your shopping list should include:

4 (1-inch thick) swordfish steaks, about 1 1/2 pounds

3 limes

2 medium red bell peppers

lemon sorbet (or sherbet)

1 package Spanish rice

While you're heating the grill or broiler, prepare Spanish rice according to package directions package.

Swordfish Santiago

Makes four servings

4 (1-inch thick) swordfish steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1/3 cup fresh lime juice, divided

3 tablespoons white wine Worcestershire sauce

3 cloves fresh garlic

3 scallions, sliced

2 red bell peppers -- 1 diced for sauce -- 1 julienned for garnish

1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

1/3 cup chicken broth

salt, to taste

2 ripe avocados, pitted and scooped out of skin

Sprinkle swordfish with 2 tablespoons of the lime juice and the white wine Worcestershire sauce and let marinate for 15 minutes while grill or broiler is heating.

Quickly make the avocado sauce in a food processor by first processing the peeled garlic cloves. Add the scallions and 1 red bell pepper and process until coarsely chopped. Add the remaining lime juice, chicken broth, Tabasco and avocado and process until the avocado is chopped into 1/2 -inch chunks. You should have a chunky sauce, not a puree. Add salt as desired.

Broil (about 4 minutes per side when close to the heat) or grill the swordfish until brown, being careful not to overcook as these cuts of fish can quickly become too dry.

Top each swordfish steak liberally with the avocado sauce and then sprinkle with red bell pepper juliennes.

As you serve each individual sorbet, use a vegetable peeler to shave chocolate over each.

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