This dish is a marriage of Sicily and the great Modenese product, Balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is made in the area of Modena from the juice of the Trebbiano grape. Traditional balsamic vinegar must spend at least five years in wooden barrels before bottled. It continues to age after bottling—in some cases for a century longer—and with the passage of time, it can transform from a condiment to digestif and finally to medicinal remedy.
- Six 6-ounce skinless swordfish steaks, each about 1/3 inch thick
- Freshly ground black pepper
- All-purpose flour
- ¼ cup of vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Tocai
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar preferably aged at least 6 years
- 3 tablespoons small (nonpareil) capers, drained
Season both sides of the swordfish steaks lightly with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece in flour to coat both sides and shake off any excess flour.
In a large, non-reactive skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 1 ½ minutes on each side. (If the steaks do not fit into the skillet in a single layer, cooked them in batches.) Transfer the steaks to a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and keep warm.
Discard the vegetable oil and carefully wipe out the skillet with several thicknesses of paper towels. Add the olive oil, butter and a pinch of flour to the skillet. Place over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and bring to a boil. Boil, shaking the pan, until thickened to a light syrup, about 4 minutes. Stir in the drained capers, then spoon the sauce over the swordfish on the platter and serve immediately.
Note: If you like your fish well done, return the steaks to the finished sauce in the skillet and cook an additional minute before serving.