Friday, February 27, 2009

top gators.

so, here's my obligatory top chef-related post. i didn't want to express any opinions because they're swirling around in much easier-to-find internet locations... but YES, it made me angry. and NO, i don't think the right person won. yar. why can't a cool woman be shown standing up for herself?!
in any case, i've decided some alligator exploration is needed.
(there's got to be some better things to do with it than make soup...)

as expected, alligator meat allegedly "tastes like chicken" but doesn't have all of the icky chicken-ness that comes with, well, chicken. and it is lower in fat, cholesterol, and calories. but considerably harder to domesticate, one would imagine! ha.

the next question is, where does one find alligator meat in southern california? certainly we don't have any native los angeles river gators... a couple of quick calls have lead me to think that gator isn't a very popular ingredient around here, but surfa's in culver city said they could get it upon request. frozen. and the farmer's market butchers recommended the many online sources.

here's a few:

so if you can wrestle yourself up a good gator, who can resist alligator balls?

Alligator Balls

1 lb Chopped alligator meat
1 Egg
1 tb Finely chopped onions
1 tb Finely chopped celery
1 tb Finely chopped parsley
2 tb Finely chopped shallots
1 ts Lemon juice
1 ts Black pepper
1/2 ts Salt
1/4 c Bread crumbs
1 c Cooking oil
Flour to dredge

Combine all ingredients, form 1 inch diameter balls, allow to set one hour. Dredge in flour and fry till brown. Serve hot.

or sweet and sour alligator? (couldn't resist, just sounded odd and silly.)

Sweet and Sour Alligator

2 eggs
1/4 cup + 2 tsps all-purpose flour
2 tsps milk
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs alligator tail meat
4 cups vegetable oil
1 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 tsps cornstarch
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 8-ounce can unsweetened pineapple chunks
1 medium bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
hot cooked rice

Combine eggs, flour, milk and salt; mix well. Add alligator cubes, stirring to coat.In 2-quart deep fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees. Deep-fry alligator a few pieces at a time until golden brown. Drain well.In a 4-quart saucepan, combine pineapple juice, brown sugar, cornstarch, tomato sauce, vinegar, corn syrup, garlic salt and pepper. Stir well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.Stir in alligator chunks, pineapple, bell pepper, celery and onion. Cover and simmer ten minutes. Serve over hot rice.
(recipe source:

and, because i'm a very practical lady, here's some helpful hints on how to survive an alligator attack.

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