My mother-in-law was flying in from the east coast, a long schlep for an 86-year-old. I wanted to make her a nice dinner, something easy to chew (to accommodate her denture issues) but delicious, to honor her arrival. I bought sparkling fresh swordfish, schmeared it with a lovely sauce and roasted it while I served her favorite cocktail (Michelob Ultra) and soft crackers.
I got all Martha Stewarty, setting the table with lilacs, a freshly laundered tablecloth, and crisp, unstained white napkins. I lit the candles and uncorked a Vouvray. Then. I plated the asparagus and went to the oven for the piece de resistance.
The fish was gorgeously sizzling and golden. But, as I proudly displayed it to my husband, the Pyrex dish that contained it exploded. It burst into thousands of tiny shards, sending glass-studded fish flying to all corners of the kitchen. It was bizarre, like something out of a Harry Potter movie. Like a bad night at Hogwarts.
When Tom and I recovered from our dumbstruck moment and assessed the damage, we moved on to Plan B. While he swept up the fish, I trolled the refrigerator for possible dinner alternatives. (Where the hell was Harry P. when I needed his wand to make the exploded swordfish suitable for consumption?) Luckily, I found some leftover bens and rice and zapped them in the microwave.
My mother-in-law could not quite compute what had caused the fish-to-bean switcheroo (nor had she heard my cursing, due to a hearing aid failure), but she was perfectly happy with her dinner.
So, write this down: Don’t roast your fish in a Pyrex dish! When the temperature is 500º, go with metal. (Unless Dumbledore is coming to dinner.)
Harry Potter Swordfish
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 clove garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pieces swordfish, about 6-8 ounces each
1. Preheat the oven to 500º F.
2. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the fish. Place the fish on a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread the sauce over the top and sides of the fish and allow it to marinate for about 30 minutes.
3. Roast the fish for about 11 or 12 minutes, until it is cooked through and flakes easily. Allow it to rest for five minutes, then serve it hot.