Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Friday, April 6, 2012

Shark Attack!

Friend... from afar.  Delicacy... from dinner table.

Hey Family and Friends!

Living in America, one fish that we generally do not consume is shark.  The most popular type of shark sold is Mako, a 12- to 14 foot aggressive and athletic little Chondrichthye found in tropical waters.  Mako is sold as a boneless steak, very similar in taste and texture as swordfish.  For those who do not enjoy fish due to its “fishy consistency” or smell, shark is a wonderful alternative since it is a more substantial and “thicker” fish.

Grilled Shark Steak - Close-up
(Notice the "flaking" pattern - this appears
when the Shark is cooked)
The easiest manner, and best in my opinion, to cook shark is on the grill.  The taste of fresh, beautiful charcoal marks on a plump steak cannot be fabricated in another manner other than the grill.  In order to cook shark properly, use the most basic seasonings and oils… salt, cayenne pepper and extra virgin olive oil.  That is it, folks.  Individuals often make the mistake of over-powering proteins with excessive and unnecessary amenities which actually deter from the star-of-the-show produce.  The best advice that I can give you when cooking?  Keep it simple and clean.  Use organic when given the option.  Take your time in preparation.  Cook with confidence and love.  Wow with presentation.  In the end, those around the table far outweigh the importance of any meal.  Should cooking celebrate artistic art on the plate, foster creativity and promote experimentation of powerful tastes?  Absolutely.  But to me, the best and most important aspects about the culinary arts is that cooking should be used to fuel your body with healthy foods and shared with family and friends.

But I digress… back to cooking Jaws.  Heat the grill on medium/high heat.  Sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt and small amount of cayenne pepper… remember, cayenne is a potent and powerful pepper!  Drizzle EVOO on the shark and place on grill for 5-6minutes on each side.  Shark will be finished when the flesh is flaky.  Mango salsa is a quick, simple accoutrement to accompany any type of protein and brighten the dish.  By cooking the shark in a simple manner, one can pair the protein with more sophisticated sides without deterring from the beauty of the basic filet. 

Mango Salsa
Mango Salsa

Level: Easy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Marinate Time: At least 10 minutes in refrigerator
Total: 20 minutes

2 Ripe Mangos
½ Red Onion
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Bunch of Cilantro – leaves only – fine chop
¼-in of Fresh Ginger – peeled and finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper – seeds removed and diced

Peel and dice the mangos, onion and avocado.  Place in a bowl with the bell pepper, ginger and cilantro.  Squeeze lemon and lime juice over mixture.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least ten minutes in order to marinate.  Serve with desired dish… fish, chicken, eggs, turkey, etc. 

Shark with Heirloom Tomatoes,
Edible Flower and Gold Paper.
When plating, simply top the shark with the mango salsa.  Refrain from placing the salsa only on top of the filet.  Rather, allow the some of the salsa to remain on top of the shark, but allow some to fall onto the plate.  Organized chaos.  Allow “imperfections” to shine into unique and gorgeous creations.

Marinate gorgeous heirloom tomatoes in EVOO, salt and cayenne and layer on a white plate.  Top with shark steak, edible flower and golf leaf.  Simple presentation.  Elegant.  Delicious.

Two other options for cooking shark?  Ceviche and Kebabs. 

Shark Ceviche
Cut Mako steaks into ½ inch cubes and toss with minced red onion, diced mango, diced red bell pepper, ginger, lemon and lime juices.  May also squeeze a small amount of orange juice into the mixture to add an additional level of citrus.  Allow to marinate for several hours, until the sharks turns opaque in color.  Although the shark was not cooked over heat, the citrus in the lemons and limes actually “cooks” the shark.  Season with salt and cayenne pepper appropriately.  If the idea of raw shark is a deterrent, simply cook the cubes of shark on the grill (or stove top), then combine with listed ingredients.  Before serving, add chopped cilantro and diced avocado to the recipe.

Shark Ceviche with Edible Flowers and Gold Leaf.
sb-style.  Got to.
I love to serve ceviche in Martini glasses with organic whole-wheat crackers as an additional “crunch.”

Shark Kabobs
Cut Mako shark into large cubes and drizzle with EVOO, salt and cayenne pepper.  If desired, one can marinate the shark at this point of the process.  One basic marinade includes olive oil, garlic, ginger and soy sauce.  Rather than marinating the shark, I would sprinkle with Herbs de Provence.  Slide the shark on skewers, alternating with sliced vegetables (options include: onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, etc.)  Grill the skewers for 7-10 minutes on med/high heat, or until the shark is cooked through (it will begin to “flake.”)

Kabobs pair nicely with whole wheat rice, quinoa or potatoes.  They can also be rolled into different flavored wraps: whole wheat, spinach, sun-dried tomato, Italian-herb, flour, corn, etc.  One can even remove the sticks and serve over fresh salad and romaine hearts.  The EVOO from the cooked shark/vegetables provides the dressing for the salad (discard the EVOO that was used to marinate the fish and vegetables, as this is now contaminated with uncooked fish).
Next time you’re in the ocean, you can be the one humming, “Duuun dun duuun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun…”

All my love from DALLAS, y’all,

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