6 servings


          The chili and cilantro basting marinade used on the swordfish is quite versatile: it is just as good with grilled chicken, chicken fajitas and almost any meat, fish or poultry. I prefer grilled fish served with a simple salsa, but if you like both a sauce and relish, lime butter sauce is delicious with this.


Three-tomato salsa



1 garlic clove, minced

2 shallots, minced

3 serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and diced

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup cilantro sprigs, minced

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1/4 cup lime juice



6 swordfish steaks (6 to 8 ounces), 1 inch thick

Corn-oil cooking spray


          At least six hours in advance prepare the three-tomato salsa and refrigerate.


          Prepare a grill with a hot fire, allowing 25 to 30 minutes for a charcoal fire to burn to a white ash. Gas or indoor grills should be turned to the highest setting. Put the garlic, shallots, chilies, salt and cilantro on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to mince them into a paste, Put this paste or pesto in a small bowl and stir in the pepper and melted butter. Add the lime juice just prior to use as it will discolor the cilantro.


          Trim the swordfish and remove the dark sections. Brush both sides with the basting pesto. Grill about 4 minutes on one side, until the edges turn opaque. Spray a spatula with corm-oil cooking spray and turn the fish. Brush again with the pesto and grill until the natural juices begin to exude, about 4 minutes. Drain the accumulated juices from the salsa and pour them over the steaks before you remove them from the grill. Put the steaks on a warm platter and serve immediately.