Introduction: El Macho's Secret Salsa & Volcanic Shark Two Ways

About: I started as scavenger cook in college before the powers of the internet turned me into the kitchen and fandom geek of today. I run a food blog that explores the world of film, books, and comics through a culi…

So my Heroes and Villains combined birthday party with my husband was a huge success, featuring all sorts of daring and devious characters. For it, I decided to make salsa inspired by everyone's favorite latin-dancing super-villain: El Macho from Despicable Me 2!

Since I can never do things simply, the following days I made up two dishes using mako shark fillets -- in honor of El Macho's untimely and super-macho death (strapped with dynamite, chained to a great white shark, and falling from a plane into an active volcano). Prepare for three recipes tasting of something kissed by fire and smoke...

Step 1: Make the Secret Salsa

El Macho's Secret Salsa

Serves many many people

Equipment: Stovetop, skillet (preferably cast iron), paper bag, food processor or blender.


  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1-2 poblano peppers
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeds and stems removed, plus 1 1/4 teaspoon sauce
  • 1/2 teaspooon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3-4 dashes liquid smoke


Remove seed pulp and dice three of the tomatoes, add them to a mixing bowl with the diced onion and garlic.

Heat the skillet until hot on the stovetop. Place the remaining tomatoes in the skillet. If you have an electric or glass stovetop, place the poblano peppers in as well. If you have a gas stove top, turn other burner on an open flame and roast the peppers on all sides on the flame. Turn all vegetables until all sides are charred then remove from heat.

Place the each pepper in the paper bag after cooking and roll up the edge to steam the skins.Quarter roasted tomatoes, discard the seed pulp, and place them in the food processor and blender with the chipotle peppers. Process until the consistency of canned crushed tomatoes.

Cut out and discard the seeds and stems of the poblano peppers and dice. Add all remaining ingredients, plus the tomato puree, to the mixing bowl with tomatoes and onions. Stir until fully mixed, add salt to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with your tortilla chip sombrero.Note:

Note: I actually made a double recipe of this for the party and shark recipes the days after. I still have a large tupperware of it in my fridge. It still tastes great, and has been wonderful in breakfast burritos.

Step 2: Drown the Shark

The next step is to get that shark steak to marinate and chill in the fridge before you can even think about cooking it. Shark is very cartilage heavy and needs 48 hours to break it down into something that even Agnes Grue can eat. And what better way to do it than with some smokey mezcal? This is enough shark to make both steaks and fajitas, or a double recipe of each.


1 gallon sized freezer ziploc bag


  • 1 1/2 cups margarita mix
  • 1/2 cup mezcal
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 2 1/2 lbs mako shark filets


Add all ingredients to the bag, seal and swish around. Refrigerate for at least 48 hours before cooking.

Step 3: Bring on the Shark. Bring on the Heat.

Now that your shark is good and tender, let's cook it up and take it out salsa dancing. I hope you've enjoyed this recipe. For the detailed explanation behind this recipe, as well as more geek-themed food to indulge in your fandom with, check out my blog: The Gluttonous Geek!

Volcanic Margarita Shark Steak or Fajitas with Secret Salsa

Serves 3-4

Equipment: Grill, or sous vide machine, cast iron skillet, quart sized Ziploc freezer bag per fillet, and stove top.


  • 1 1/4 lbs marinated mako shark fillets
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup El Macho’s Secret Salsa


  • 6-8 fajita sized tortillas
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • cooked or canned mushrooms
  • fresh cilantro to garnish


  • For Grilled Shark: Heavily season each side of the fillets with kosher salt and pepper. Grill on medium heat 3-4 minutes on each side.
  • For Sous Vide Shark: Heat water bath to 135° F. Place a fillet it each freezer bag with an extra splash of margarita mix. Slowly lower each bag open into the water, allowing the it to push the air out of the bag and vacuum-seal the fish in. Seal the bag at the top and repeat for each filet. Cook in the bath for 30 minutes. Remove bags from bath and carefully remove the fillets from the bags. Heat up the cast iron skillet on the stove top with some cooking oil. Season the fillets liberally with kosher salt and pepper. Add the shark to the skillet when hot and sear for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  • For Fajitas: Let the shark rest for about 5 minutes and the slice into bite-sized pieces. Distribute among the tortillas with mushrooms, cheese, and salsa and serve. For Steaks: Let shark rest for about 5 minutes, Distribute among you plates and top with salsa and cilantro before serving.
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