So I had planned on doing a summer installment of grilled recipes, “Grilling in the Alley” (like this one) but then our world got turned a little upside down and all my time has been devoted to arranging for a cross-country move, apartment searching and trying to find a new job. We’re off to sunny San Jose, CA, which I know I’m excited about, somewhere, deep down inside, hidden beneath the stress, nerves and OMG WE’RE MOVING IN 18 DAYS!!!! But it’s ok, I got this. It’ll be fine…right?
Anyways. I do have one grill session that I really wanted to share with you, but this one wasn’t in my alley. It was on the beach, during my annual family vacation in Gulf Shores, AL, on a dinky little grill that threatened to dump hot coals onto my bare feet every time I attempted to close the lid. So, it was just as adventurous as
illegally grilling in my alley, making it suitable for this almost-failure of a segment. 🙂
OH! But one thing before you skip to the pictures, if you haven’t already: I would really LOVE it if you could take a second to check out the semi-finals of the Diced! Dessert Bracket competition. I made a Godiva Chocolate Checkered Cake with Coffee Buttercream (gluten free of course), and my awesome competitor made Chocolate Tiramisu Cupcakes. You MUST check out her blog, Booze, Sugar & Spice, it’s fantastic!
That’s right, you read it: Shark Tacos.
My dad and I had this epic adventure trying to get fresh fish from the many docks set back on the Bon Secour River, that feeds into the bay, only to find them all closed. It was Sunday. We did the exact same thing last year, and I’m sure we made the exact same declarations then that we did this time, “We’ll NEVER do this again!” I’m not putting any money down on us remembering the next time around.
So we ended up back at the grocery store, and the best looking meat at the fish counter was shark, and it was cheap (which is probably why it was the best looking.) Don’t ask me what kind of shark, but I’m guessing the kind you’re allowed to buy and eat. Gulf shark? Let’s go with that.
We took it back to the house, and I got a kick out of telling all the kids we were having shark for dinner. They didn’t believe us at all, but there it was right on the package: Shark. $7.99/lb. We made us some tasty tasty tacos, with mango salsa and chipotle crema, a little shredded cabbage and some grilled corn. NOMS. If you ever find yourself with a few pounds of shark, you gotta try this recipe, courtesy of my father. He’s the one that got me interested in cooking, having always made everything from scratch, and I always call him for advice when I’m thinking up new recipes. He never writes anything down, so getting one of his recipes on paper is only possible when you’re watching him cook, notepad in hand. So this one I managed to scribble on a torn piece of paper sitting on the counter, covered in who-knows-what now and some weird note about Thelma and Louise at the bottom. But by god I got it!
This was my first time eating shark. It looks like chicken, tastes kinda like pork, but with a subtle flaky texture like fish. I absolutely loved it. Some of the pickier eaters were a little weirded out by that texture, so it may not be for everyone. But I say you still have to try it. It’s SO SO GOOD. 🙂
But if you don’t, or can’t find shark, you can still do all of this, just replace the shark with another firm fish and chow down!
3.5 pounds of shark (we were feeding about 15 people)
3 tablespoons of fish seasoning (we used Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Magic)
Drizzle of olive oil
Mango salsa (recipe follows)
Chipotle Crema (recipe follows)
1/4 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
3-4 green onions, finely diced
2 large, ripe mangoes
1/2 of a medium red pepper, diced
1 lime, juiced
2-3 teaspoons of lime zest
1-2 teaspoons of agave (or sugar)
Pinch of salt
Drizzle of olive oil
The trickiest part is dicing up the mangoes, I almost always lose some skin doing that one. Everyone has an opinion on how to “perfectly” cut a mango, but I have yet to succeed.
Anyways, dice the mangoes and toss in a bowl with all the other ingredients (minus any fingers or nails you might have lost in the process, of course). The amount of each ingredient here really depends on your taste buds and the mangoes. If they weren’t sweet enough you might need a little more agave, or some more lime or olive oil etc.
1 can of chipotles in adobe (you won’t need all of it)
1/3 cup of mayo
1/3 cup of sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
Take two of the chipotles out of the can and finely dice them. In a bowl, combine the mayo and sour cream and 2 heaping spoonfuls of the adobe sauce from the can. Mix well. This one also depends on your taste buds so if you like it spicier, go for it.
Now you’ve just got the shark left to season and grill! Toss the pieces in a large bowl with the fish seasoning and olive oil, until fully coated, and place in the freezer while you prep the grill. Preferably one that isn’t rusted out and barely holding itself together, like so:
You want the usual for your coals, medium-high heat but not flaming. I would recommend greasing the grate, although we didn’t have any on hand and somehow managed to maintain our shark intact.
Remove the shark from the freezer and immediately transfer to the grill. Brown well on both sides, about 5-6 minutes each, and let rest on a plate when done.
Once cooled, slice into 1/4 inch pieces, kinda like you would for grilled chicken tenders.
Take a corn tortilla, spread the chipotle crema on the bottom, layer 3-4 shark pieces, cover with a tablespoon or two of mango salsa and finish with a hefty pinch of shredded cabbage.
You’ve got yourself an awfully unique little dinner.
And you just can’t beat a night on the beach with friends, family and food. And maybe some booze. Or a lot of booze. It is vacation after all. 🙂
Happy summer eatin’!