Saturday, January 30, 2010

Alligator with Sauce Piquante

In my mind the Acadian people of the Bayou have fusion cuisine down to a science. I say that because I find the blend of flavors and ingredients deserve respect that shouldn’t be altered. The French-Acadians were banished by the British from Nova Scotia where they settled in the Bayous along the Gulf of Mexico. When these nomadic spirits joined forces with the Spanish, Italian, and African decedents already living in this area they invented what is today recognized as Cajun Cuisine. They found Seasonings being used by the Native American Tribes of the Choctaw, and Chickasaw Indians never before seen by Europeans so what could possibly be more “ Fusion” than that….I could go on forever about this type of cooking as one of my greatest influences in cooking, and lifestyle was watching Justin Wilson on TV as a child! Yeah for those that don’t know that was when you had to walk over to the TV to change Channels!
So today the calling went out for Alligator recipes, and this is one of my favorites…I prepare this dish most often for a crowd that has never had Alligator, and more often than not someone will squirm around in the chair making comments that include” People actually eat those things”…..Well yes they do, and they are quite tasty! If you run into this crowd I recommend that you make a batch of Grits, and spread it out in a shallow baking dish to cool in the fridge. When cooled you can then turn them out on a cutting board, and take a 2 Inch round cookie cutter to make little disks that can be grilled, or pan seared as a base for small Appetizer portions that are topped with Medallions of Gator and a little sauce.

2 Pounds Alligator meat -cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 Cup Oil
2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Cup Onions, Chopped
1/2 Cup Green Bell Peppers, Chopped
1/2 Cup Celery, Chopped
1/2 Cup Parsley, Chopped
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
16 Fluid Ounces Tomato Sauce
8 Fluid Ounces Tomato Juice
1 Pound Fresh Crab Meat
1/4 Teaspoon Creole Seasoning
1 Bay Leaf
1 Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper To taste

Louisiana Hot Sauce To Taste--- A Couple Good Shakes makes this wonderful!

1. Heat oil, and Brown alligator Meat, Remove from oil, and reserve
2. Add Flour to make a roux
Add Onion, Celery, Green Peppers and Parsley, cook until wilted
3. Add Tomato Sauce, and Juice, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes
4. Add Alligator and remaining Ingredients and continue to simmer about 30 minutes until sauce thickens, stir often to prevent sticking

Serve over steamed White Rice, or Grit Cakes

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