Swordfish and Black Cod!


Hey! The weather cooperated and I got to bring in two kinds of fish! Sourcing was actually a joy. These last couple of weeks it has been a series of increasingly depressing phone calls followed by lots of pacing and cursing. Well, most things I do involve some cursing. I DO work with fishermen.

This mixed share deal is pretty exciting and I am so glad that it worked out. These shares also made the packing process take FOUR TIMES longer than it normally does. Ugh. In fact, I just finished up about 30 minutes ago. There was approximately triple the normal amount of cursing involved in packing these orders, but that was mostly due to my fingers going numb in the cold fish plant. Do you feel sorry for me yet? You shouldn’t. I was having fun and hanging out with my fish plant buddies. It was actually one of those times when I realize that I am strangely equipped to do what I do. I laugh and curse at my numb fingers trying to close zip lock bags. Packing fish can be FUN!

I had grand blogging plans that are being simplified out of necessity. Fishmongering is an activity that is best approached with at least 6 hours of sleep. Trust me friends, no one wants to see my grumpy face. This will be a MEGAPOST that will match the MEGACOOLER that you will take home tomorrow.

Black Cod

Well, we are really talking sablefish here, but the accepted and widely used market name for this fish is black cod. No matter what you call it, it’s goooooooood. Your fish will come to you with the skin on and the pin bones in. The skin is on because you should make it salty and crispy and then you must eat it. It’s delicious. The pin bones are in because the fish gets mushy in transit without them. Pin bones are easy to remove. A good video tutorial on how to do that can be found here. I would like to add that it is helpful to place the fillet on top of a bowl skin side down. That makes the pin bones easier to identify.

Our black cod comes from the handsomest man in Ft. Bragg. I talked about him here. Any one that is new to Siren and did not try Mike Lee’s excellent Hacked Sous Vide Black Cod recipe should do that this week. You will not be sorry. If you would like some additional inspiration, please check out everything that Siren subscribers did with their last black cod share.


This is our first go at swordfish. Quite frankly, it will be a rarely sourced item for Siren. Swordfish are at the top of the food chain and they live for quite a long time. Those two characteristics can lead to high mercury levels. While it is not advisable to eat swordfish every day, it is a great occasional addition to your diet. This fish is gorgeous, brought in on Thursday in Monterey. I did not see a single worm in the entire fish. Most wild fish have some sort of parasite in them. Most parasites are not visible to the naked eye, but the worms that are commonly found in swordfish are quite visible. As with all wild fish, you must cook or freeze it before eating to be certain that you have killed all of the parasites. I know that everything I just wrote sounds like a really good reason to NOT eat swordfish, but trust me, you want to eat this.


Swordfish with Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

This recipe was suggested to me by Bruce Cole of Edible San Francisco. I made a few adjustments this week as I was trying it out and here we have the finished product. I like it so much that I made it twice! BONUS: It’s cold outside and turning on your broiler warms up your kitchen very quickly. BONUS 2: This is a really good recipe if you want to finish off your produce CSA box. Night one I had my swordfish on an arugula salad, and night two I had it roasted sweet potatoes. There will be enough vinaigrette to dress whichever vegetable you decide to pair with the fish.


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 teaspoons table salt

a pinch of granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground pepper

8 oz. swordfish, cut into two 1/2 inch thick steaks (I just sliced mine in half horizontally with a VERY sharp knife.)


1. Preheat your broiler. Place the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, sugar, dijon mustard, and dill into a bowl and whisk until combined. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking continuously until it is completely incorporated. Season with ground pepper (I used A LOT.).

2. Broil the swordfish steaks over high heat, placing them as close to the heat source as possible until they are cooked through. This should take about 6 minutes. Turn the steaks once halfway through cooking. Transfer the fish to a platter and poke several holes in the steaks with a fork so that the vinaigrette can seep in. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the fish. Reserve some vinaigrette to dress you salad or vegetables.



Something New!

This week I will be trying out something a little different. Shares will be half black cod and half swordfish. It could be bad and it could be beautiful, but it will definitely be delicious. Black cod is a very rich fish, so the typical serving is a 4 oz. fillet. A half share will have enough black cod to serve two people as well as enough swordfish to serve two. A full share will have enough of each kind of fish to serve four.

I had unexpected access to a beautiful local swordfish AND a black cod boat with quota that I have been stalking for weeks finally made it out. So, we have MEGABOX, or rather, MEGACOOLER. I will post the recipes and fisherman bios tomorrow. Yep, there are TWO of each.