Chopped Quintana Style- Gina Quintana

Posted on January 30, 2013


Shark? Did I just read shark as one of my ingredients? If you have ever seen the show chopped, you know how hard it is to come up with a recipe using three random ingredients. I was presented this challenge and was so excited to do it! I love the show and thought it was a great idea.

As I walked out of the door of my classroom with excitement to get my ingredients, I put my hand in the hat and had my lucky three. The first read pesto. This was awesome because I make a great homemade basil pesto. The second read leeks. Having cooked with leeks before, I wasn’t worried about coming up with a meal just yet. As I opened the last paper, I saw the last thing I ever accepted, shark. I don’t eat or cook fish so seeing this item didn’t put the biggest smile on my face. After the initial shock of realizing I was going to have to cook shark, I started to brainstorm.

I came up with a dinner in which if I were a fish eater, I’d devourer. Grilled shark on a bed of pasta toped with a basil leek pesto was on the menu. I marinated the shark in a lemon olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I then steamed it in foil on the BBQ. Once it steamed for 10 minutes, I placed it on the BBQ to get a nice flavor. The pasta was a simple bow tie with sautéed spinach, leeks, and garlic oil. The dish was toped with a basil leek pesto.

I had my father try the dish first. He described the shark as flakey, moist, and salty with a light onion back taste from the leek pesto. He loved it, and said it was great with the simple pasta. When I asked him what he thinks the fish would taste good with if I were to make it again, he replied “ A sweet and mango chutney would be great with this fish to balance the saltiness. I’d also like to see the fish paired with rice. I’d definitely eat this meal again.”

I had a great experience doing this. My family enjoyed it as well. We are planning on having chopped nights at the house. Each week the person picked has to make a meal using the ingredients the rest of the family pick. It’s going to be great.

Posted in: Student Posts