Sandwich #4–“Frustrated” Open Faced Swordfish Sandwich with Arugula and Jalapeno Citrus Dressing

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This sandwich was so frustrating to make. Not because of its ingredients, but because E micro managed the entire process. I came up with the idea to have salmon cake sandwiches, but Mr. Wannabe Eric Freaking Ripert decides that salmon sandwiches wouldn’t be enough. We had to have swordfish.

E decided to help out. He made his delicious jalapeño emulsion (stolen from Eric Ripert’s “On the Line” cookbook) to use as a condiment. He left the actual sandwich construction up to me.

“Honey did you dress the fish first?”
I was thinking salt and pepper and maybe some parsley. Eric had other opinions.
“Maybe cumin?” he asked.
I grab a handful of cayenne and cumin all over the fish, salt and pepper. Then I cut a small handful of cilantro, parsley and basil and threw it on top of each fillet in a fit of frustrated rage.

“Aren’t you going to cut the fillets into sandwich sized fillets so it fits perfectly on the bread?”
Grrrrrrr….fine. I took a small pearing knife and started to make my way around the fish. The 10 ounce swordfish fillets were now about 6 ounces each, cut into uneven discs slightly larger than the crusty Italian bread base.

Speaking of bread, E asked as the fish hit the pan: “Did you toast the bread first?”
“Dude, do you want to do this yourself?!”
“No, you’re doing great! the fish looks amazing,” he encourages.

After two minutes of cooking the swordfish steaks, I turned the heat down and pop two slices of crusty bread in the toaster. Once they pop up, I placed them on a plate, spooned some of the jalapeno emulsion over it, and grabbed a fist full of arugula to place on the bread.
“Are you going to dress the arugula first with some olive oil before you put it on the bread?” E asked.
“Well, really honey? Plain arugula on toast? Ick.”
I made a small batch of an olive oil and vinegar dressing, with pinches of salt and pepper, angrily stirred it into a suitable dressing, and spooned it on the greens. Then I placed forkfulls of arugula on the bread, layered on the swordfish, and finally the peppers and some more emulsion.

In the end, it was the tastiest sandwich I had made thus far. And I came to appreciate the criticism that helped me get it there.

2 8 oz swordfish steaks
2 slices crusty Italian bread
2/3 cup arugula, for garnish
1/4 cup of cilantro
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup basil
1 yellow pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

for the jalapeño emulsion (adapted from Eric Ripert’s “On The Line” cookbook)
1/2 cup minced jalapeño
1 teaspoon minced shallot
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
sea salt and ground white pepper

For the emulsion: throw all ingredients in a blender until smooth, add enough oil to desired texture — though be spreadable like mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. pop in fridge until ready to use as garnish for sandwich.

For the peppers: Crank oven to 400 degrees. Take whole peppers and place in oven for 10 minutes, until blackened. Remove and place into paper bag with small handful of water sprinkled inside, enough to steam the peppers slightly. Leave inside for 2 minutes, then remove. Slice the yellow pepper into long hearty slices (two inches wide should do). Scrape or slice off skin. Take skinned peppers and set aside.

Dress the arugula with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Season swordfish with salt and pepper and cook 2-4 minutes on each side. Assemble sandwich with the toasted bread, then jalapeño emulsion, the dressed greens, then the swordfish, the peppers and more emulsion.

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