I’m probably never going to catch my own swordfish and damn good thing, too.
I’ve discovered that one of the problems with first-hand food is that, if you can fish, hunt, gather, or grow it yourself, you become reluctant to buy it from other people. Even though I won’t be getting shiitakes for a couple of months, and tomato season isn’t until August, it’s awful hard for me to fork over hard-earned cash for shiitakes or tomatoes.
A trip to the fish market becomes an exercise in elimination. Lobster? No. Fluke? No. Trout? Most definitely not. Ditto oysters, clams, mussels, and smoked bluefish. Even though I can’t get most of those things now, I’ll be able to get them soon, or at least some day.
Swordfish, though, swordfish I’ll never get first-hand.
Kevin and I have discovered the swordfish chop. We’re late to the party, I know. The cut’s been around for at least a couple of decades, but we have a history of being behind the curve.
We first encountered it at the Naked Oyster, one of our favorite local restaurants, when, Les, one of our favorite local oyster farmers, ordered it. It looks like a pork chop, with a bone curved around a chunk of meat, but it’s not a rib. It’s the bone from what I understand to be the swordfish’s collarbone, just off its lower jaw. It’s a lovely, fatty, moist piece of fish.
There are only two chops per fish, but we recently discovered that, if we called ahead, we might just be able to get them at Cape Fish and Lobster, an outstanding fish market in Hyannis.
For my birthday last Friday, Kevin called ahead and got us two chops. He grilled them, perfectly, and made a mushroom risotto to accompany. Today, we just happened to stop in as the chops were coming out of the back room, and we snapped one up (on a big fish, one chop is big enough to be a meal for two). Kevin again grilled it, again perfectly, and I made a risotto from butternut squash puree I’d frozen from last year’s harvest and a salad with mizuna from the hoophouse.
We haven’t been good about maintaining our every-other-Friday habit of making an out-of-the-ordinary meal, but we did it today. We opened one of the bottles of Ridge zinfandel my parents sent me for my birthday (everyone should have parents like mine), and enjoyed the end of the work week.
“We have to make sure we don’t have these often enough to get sick of them,” Kevin said to me as we ate our chop, which was slightly charred on the outside and beautifully juicy within.
Not to worry.