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Long before the fashion industry took a fancy to alligator skins, gator meat was very popular in regions with large crocodilian populations. The hunting of alligators for their skins so depleted the population that broad marketing of the meat was not possible. Now, with a growing network of farms and ranches raising alligators, the populations have been replenished and this delicious meat is available worldwide. It is estimated that the state of Florida is home to over 1,000,000 alligators, not counting those raised on the commercial alligator farms.

Most of the commercial gator does not actually get captured in the wild anymore. Like with cattle, alligator ranches and farms have been set up to breed the finest and most delicious gator available.

The meat of the alligator is considered a gourmet delicacy, low in fat and calories and high in protein. A 1/4 pound alligator serving has 29% protein USRDA and 3% fat USRDA. The same portion has 143 calories and 65 mg cholesterol, both less than chicken. Alligator is also an excellent source of niacin, the B12 vitamins, and potassium and phosphorous minerals. Not just the tail, but all of the meat of the alligator is edible, and is sold all throughout Florida. Alligator meat averages $5.00 to $7.00 a pound wholesale.

Compiled by: Joe Comiskey


Acadian Alligator Sauce Piquant

Recipe By:	Terry Thompson		

Amount	Measure	Ingredient	Preparation Method
2 1/2	pounds	Mixed tail and body alligator meat	cut in cubes
		Salt	to taste
		Freshly-ground black pepper	
2	medium	Onions	chopped
4	medium	Garlic cloves	minced
1	large	Green bell pepper	chopped
2	large	Celery stalks	chopped
3	medium	Tomatoes	peeled, chopped
2	tablespoons	Tomato paste	
2	teaspoons	Worcestershire sauce	
1	teaspoon	Freshly-ground black pepper	
1 1/2	teaspoons	Chile powder	
1	tablespoon	Fresh leaf oregano	
		(or 1 tsp dried leaf oregano)	
1	tablespoon	Fresh leaf basil	
		(or 1 tsp dried leaf basil)	
1	tablespoon	Fresh leaf thyme	
		(or 1 tsp dried leaf thyme)	
1/2	teaspoon	Red (cayenne) pepper	
		Salt	to taste
1/2	cup	Burgundy wine	
2	cups	Brown veal and pork stock	
		(or 2 cups canned beef broth)	
6		Green onions	chopped
1/4	cup	Minced parsley, preferably flat-leaf	
		Hot cooked white rice	
		=== CAJUN ROUX ===	
1	cup	Lard	
1	cup	All-purpose flour	

   Season alligator meat with salt and black pepper. and set aside.
   In a heavy Dutch oven melt lard over medium heat.  When lard is hot, 
add flour all atonce; stir or whisk to combine flour and lard.  If 
necessary, use back of wooden spoon tosmooth out any lumps of flour. 
Reduce heat to low.  Cook, stirring or whiskingconstantly, until roux is 
desired color and has a nut like smell.  Cook about 55 minutesfor the 
dark mahogany-colored roux.  The process should not be rushed.  If small 
black ordark brown flecks apperar in roux, it has been burned and must be 
discarded.  A burnedroux will impart a bitter and scorched taste to any 
dish in which it is used.  To stopthe cooking process, either add the 
vegtables called for in the recipe or immediatelypour finished roux into 
a metal bowl.  Stir or whisk 10 minutes in bowl.  To make ahead,cover and 
refrigerate 2 days.  Or freeze up to 6 months.
   Add seasoned meat to the roux; cook quickly, stirring until lightly 
browned.  Addonions, garlic, bell pepper, celery, and tomatoes.  Stir 
until vegtables are slightlywilted and transparent, about 5 minutes.  Add 
tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, blackpepper, chili powder, oregano, 
basil, thyme, cayenne and salt; cook 5 minutes, stirringto prevent 
sticking.  Stir in wine and stock or broth.  Reduce heat.  Cover and 
simmeruntil meat is tender and liquid is thick and rich, 1 1/2 hours. 
Stir in green onions andparsley; remove from heat.  Serve over rice.
   This recipe yields 4 to 6 servings.  Comments:  Roux freezes well, and 
no respestable Cajun household would be without agood supply.  When you 
prepare roux, make a little extra; freeze it in one cup containers.
   Variations:  Subsitute vegtable oil for lard, if desired.  However, 
the taste of thefinished dish will not be as good as the one prepared 
with a lard based roux.  Substituteanother fat, such as rendered duck fat 
or a combination of duck fat and lard.


Alligator Grand Chenier

Recipe By:	Carencro Mardi Gras Festival		

Amount	Measure	Ingredient	Preparation Method
4		Alligator filets	
		=== STUFFING ===	
1/4	cup	Margarine	
1/2	cup	Diced onions	
1/4	cup	Diced bell pepper	
1/4	cup	Diced celery	
1	teaspoon	Salt	
1/2	teaspoon	 Cayenne pepper
1/4	teaspoon	Freshly-ground black pepper	
1/2	teaspoon	Garlic powder	
1	cup	Water	
2		Chicken bouillon cubes	
2	teaspoons	Chopped fresh parsley	
1/4	cup	Chopped scallions	
1 1/2	cups	Bread crumbs from day old bread	
1		Egg	
1	pound	Dark crabmeat	

  Carefully pound alligator filets into hand-size rectangles, 
without tearing meat.  Lightly season with salt and cayenne 
pepper.  Set aside.
  In a large skillet, melt margarine and saute onion, bell 
pepper and celery untiltender.  Add salt, pepper and garlic 
to mixture and stir.  Dissolve bouillon cubes in water, add 
to mixture and boil for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir 
in remaining ingredients, carefully folding in the crab meat 
last.  Spoon stuffing onto alligator filets and fold over 
"omelet-style."  Secure edges with tooth picks if desired. 
Grill in a pre-heated 350 degree lightly-greased skillet. 
Serve plain or with your favorite seafood sauce.

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