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Eating the Enemy: here, gator, gator, gator

So, I had this Fried Gator recipe all ready to go live at lunchtime today:


Yield: 6 servings 

3/4 cup flour
3 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups cold water
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
2 pounds Gator Meat, cut in strips
Vegetable oil for frying

  • Combine the first 4 ingredients. Slowly add water and mix well. Set aside.
  • Combine cornmeal, onions, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  • Dip Gator Meat in flour mixture, let excess drain off then coat with cornmeal mixture and deep-fry in hot oil 375 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Drain on absorbent paper.

But Smitty beat me to the punch by posting this yesterday in a comment thread:

Florida Gator Hater Soup

5 lbs. Florida Gator bones and scrap meat
1 lb. choice Florida Gator tail meat
1 lb. canned or precooked black beans
1 bunch celery, washed
5 large carrots, peeled
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
2 fresh limes
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 tbsp. white truffle oil
1 lb. frozen puff pastry

This isn't a picture of Smitty's Gator Hater soup, but . . . it does look like chicken, doesn't it?

Boil bones and scrap meat in a large stockpot. Chop the celery and carrots into 1" chunks, and slice the shallots thin. Sauté the shallots briefly until tender in a small knob of butter, then add the carrots and celery and sweat the vegetables down for five minutes. Add to the stock with any pan juices.

Add the precooked black beans, bay leaves and a grind of fresh pepper to the stock, and allow to boil down to about a third of its volume over moderate heat, two to three hours. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Prepare the alligator tail meat as per the basic preparation instructions - remove silverskin and tendons, use the Jacquard or other tenderizer, and pound. Cut into ½" chunks, and toss with the juice of two fresh limes and one crushed clove of garlic.

Allow the alligator meat to marinate while the stock reduces. When the broth is well reduced, strain and clarity to remove all solids. Cut decorative "gator tails" out of puff pastry and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until puffy and brown. Gently poach the marinated gator pieces in one cup of the broth until barely done.

Just before serving, froth the nonfat milk with a cappuccino whisk and gently fold in the white truffle oil. Assemble the soup in decorative cups with the puff pastry tails, and spoon the white truffle foam over each serving. Light garnishes may be floated atop the truffle foam, such as crispy fried shallots.

You had me until "remove silverskin and tendons." And puff pastry and truffle oil? Smitty, you're the man.

For the more adventurous, though , you can get gator meat at Exotic Meats for only $13.95 per pound. You can have it sent next day air.

If you're really feeling it, make one of these gator cakes for dessert.

There's a whole internet full of ideas out there, so let us know what you find.