getting saucy


olive oil poached swordfish with smoky paprika & onion sauce

Just a quick one this week gentle readers to introduce you to my new favourite sauce: smoky paprika and onion. We’re talking tomato sauce (Australian for ketchup) for grown-ups here: spicy, complexly smoky, slightly sweet with a touch of chilli heat and a gorgeously tablecloth-staining rich red colour. Trust me, you just have to try it….. all good things.

a mid-week dinner to welcome a new neighbour
olive oil poached swordfish with smoky paprika & onion sauce
smashed & roasted crispy kipfler potatoes
green salad with sherry vinegar dressing
fresh dates with blue cheese

olive oil poached swordfish with smoky paprika & onion sauce
serves 4

While I love swordfish on the BBQ, it can be a little tricky to get the balance between cooking it through and over doing it. Poaching in olive oil is much gentler and retains all the fishy juices. This technique would also work with other firm fleshed fish such as marlin, tuna, blue eye or even snapper.

Using a thermometer takes the guesswork out of the cooking process but you could just try heating the oil until the garlic is just starting to brown slightly before removing from the heat and adding your fish. You’ll just need to be prepared to monitor the fish and take it out when it’s done.

500mL (2C) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
4 sprigs lemon thyme
3 bay leaves
4 swordfish steaks, approx 200g each
paprika & onion sauce (recipe below)
smashed roast potatoes, to serve (recipe HERE)
green salad, to serve

Allow the fish to come to room temperature. Place oil, garlic and herbs in a large flame proof dish large enough to hold the fish in a single layer. Heat oil to 65C and remove dish from the heat. Place fish in the oil in a single layer and allow to stand for 5mins. Turn and allow to stand for another 5 – 10mins or until the fish is cooked to your liking.

Drain and divide fish between warmed dinner plates. Top with a generous drizzle of sauce and serve with green salad, spuds and extra sauce passed separately.

smoky paprika & onion sauce
makes heaps

Adapted from Frank Camarrone’s recipe published in his top little book MoVida.

This makes way more sauce than you’ll need to feed 4 people but it is seriously mooreish and versatile just like tomato sauce (ketchup) so I promise you won’t have any difficulties in using it up. Frank recommends teaming it with salt cod which is lovely but I’m keen to try it with roast spuds, meats, in a BBQ sausage sarnie. From experience it makes a great accompaniment to cheese on toast for a midnight snack.

The chilli I used gives only a mild warmth, feel free to spice it up as much as you dare. Will keep for a week or so in the fridge, but if you’d like it to last longer fill into sterilized jars and seal and refrigerate.

6 red onions, peeled & diced
4 red capsicums (peppers), diced
200mL olive oil
4T smoky paprika
3 red birds eye chillies finely chopped, or to taste
2T- 4T sherry vinegar
pinch sugar

Heat oil in a large heavy based saucepan over medium low heat and add onion. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 30mins or until onion is softening but not browned. Add capsicum, paprika and chillies and continue to cook covered for another 30mins, stirring.

Add 1/4C water and keep cooking until the vegetables are meltingly soft. Coarsely puree with a stick blender or in a food processor. Season well and stir through 2T vinegar and sugar. Continue to simmer until you have a thick saucy consistency, about another ½ hour. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. You’re looking for a balance between the spice, the salt, acidity and sweetness. Serve immediately or allow to cool and reheat before serving.


  • This looks like summer on a plate! Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for spring to happen over here in the NL, but I’m bookmarking this one for the debut of my Weber barbie!

    Smoked paprika is my favorite spice discovery for 2007, and I’m still not sick of it in 2008. Actually, I have to keep myself for using it on everything, but I’ve yet to try it with fish.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • This looks like quite the savory dish o’ fish!
    It looks so fresh and delish!
    Jeez…I really wish…
    I could have a taste :P~

    That’s my ode to your fish-dish, hope you liked it :).

    P.S. I love the name of your blog, and the pics are pretty grand too. Nice meeting you :)


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