Thursday, March 20, 2008

See Ya Later



It''s been a while since we have had some odd meat action over here. Mostly becuase I haven't had a chance to get up to my Odd Meat Purveyor of choice - The Healthy Buffalo. But a few weekends ago I had my chance when Adam and I were in New Hampshire visiting his family and so here we are, Odd Meating it up.


I decided to go with something I allegedly tried once in Florida years ago but forgot mostly about. And something that my mom had on a recent trip to New Orleans and reccomended. And something that just looked fun and somewhat easy to prepare.


Alligator!




(Anna, doing her best Vanna White)

I understand that in parts of the country this isn't even considered an odd meat so for my Southern friends, please bear with me and my boring New England sense of culinary adventure. To me (and the people who shared Alligator Night with me), this was definitely something new.

I read up extensively on the preparation and serving of Alligator since I had never worked with it before. I decided to combine two recipes I found and so Cajun Grilled Alligator was born. I came across too many recipes that called for marinating the meat in milk for an hour or two to ignore it, and it being the First Day of Spring I wanted to bust out the grill and so that explains that.


So let's get started.



Cajun Grilled Alligator.


1 lb Sirloin Alligator Meat (in chunks)
1 cup milk
1 can beer
Texas Pete Hot Sauce (or whatever kind you like)
Cajun Seasoning
Non Stick Cooking Spray



Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl.




(PBR in the house! Nothing but class over here!)

Be as liberal or as stingy with the hot sauce and seasoning as you like. I used about 10 splashes of the hot sauce and a tablespoon of the seasoning because I like it like that.

Place the meat in the bowl. I think at this point it looked mostly like chicken, but (as Anna so nicely pointed out "more veiny"). Mmmmm. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour, or as much as 8 hours. Make sure the meat is covered in the marinade and give it a shake every so often.

When you are ready, remove the meat and season with more of the Cajun Spice.



Shout out to McCormick for making my favorite seasoning!



Heat grill to medium and spray with the non stick cooking spray. When the grill is hot place alligator on it and savor the sizzle.



These cooked pretty quickly. The hard partfor me was deciding when it was done since biting into undercooked alligator is not really my cup of tea...but that is how I tend to judge whether my grilling is done. In the end I got it just about right at 3 minutes a side.


Mmmmmmmm.


Looks like chicken!

But how does it taste?

Well, like chicken. The taste is very chicken like and both Adam and Anna enjoyed it very much. I, however, could not reconcile the taste and appearance of chicken with the decidedly denser texture that alligator has. I am a texture gal, there is no getting around it. But since Adam and Anna liked it so much I believe that I COULD like it more. Next time I prepare it I plan on doing an Alligator Nugget because there is no texture problem that battering and frying something can't solve.

So there we have it. A fun and easy (and odd!) meat to prepare on the grill. If you can get your hands on alligator meat give it a try (you can order this and any odd meat from the Healthy Buffalo website) It's also exceedingly healthy at 96 calories for 3 ounces so it can easily be substituted into healthy dishes where you might normally use chicken. Alligator Caesar Salad anyone?

9 comments:

Kate said...

I tried alligator when we were in New Orleans & thought it was delicious! It probably won't make my weekly menu - but it's nice to know there's somewhere I can order it if we will be having adventurous dinner guests:)

Nicky said...

My eating habits have been hard to classify. Since I chow on poultry and fish, I'm obviously not 100% vegetarian. So, I used to tell people "I don't eat red meat". This didn't work, as my mom began insisting that pork was technically "white meat." To clarify, I now tell people "I don't eat mammals." I thought I had it covered.
Upon reading your blog, I've realized I don't. I thought about it and decided I wouldn't eat lizard either. (Dudes, you are brave!) Now what the heck am I supposed to tell people? Lol.

Nicky said...

My eating habits have been hard to classify. Since I chow on poultry and fish, I'm obviously not 100% vegetarian. So, I used to tell people "I don't eat red meat". This didn't work, as my mom began insisting that pork was technically "white meat." To clarify, I now tell people "I don't eat mammals." I thought I had it covered.
Upon reading your blog, I've realized I don't. I thought about it and decided I wouldn't eat lizard either. (Dudes, you are brave!) Now what the heck am I supposed to tell people? Lol.

Sarah said...

I think maybe don't tell people what you DON'T eat and just tell them what you DO eat. I have learned that people get kind of offended when I say "I don't eat veal" but when I say "Oh I prefer chicken" it makes people less defensive :-)

Jzbell said...

Being from the South and all, Alligator meat is not all that extraordinary to me... but I agree with you on the texture. Battered, bite-size nuggets dipped a spicy, cajun-y sauce are much better. =)

Honeydew Studio said...

Sarah - that might work. Since my "meat I eat" list is quite a bit shorter than the list of stuff I don't. The whole alligator thing has me curious though. I don't have much sympathy for alligators since they'd happily eat me if given the chance. But...chicken, eh? Haha. You're so experimental! What weird meat haven't you tried yet? Is there anything left? (o:

Sarah said...

Indeed there is! Elk ( i think) and Venison and Antelope and Pheasant and Frog Legs....although I confess even I don't know if I could do Frog Legs..

Cindy said...

Oh, God. It's a LIZARD!!!! I don't care what it tastes like. I could just never get past that. And I've always wondered, if it tastes like chicken, why not just eat chicken. However, I admire your bravery and adventurous kitchen spirit!

fiddlehead fern said...

Another source for alligator meat (tail, body, tenderloin, etc.) is MarxFoods.com. The site also offers several other exotic meats as well as delicious products like Nuovo ravioli.