Monday, June 30, 2008

Love me like a reptile!

Guy: The title of this posting, borrowed by Motorhead, is influenced by the combination of rock and roll and reptiles, specifically Alligator. As you may have guessed by Zola's posting last week, I have been out for the first 3 weeks of June on an east coast and southern tour as Mudhoney were out promoting our new album "The Lucky Ones".  As it happens, we were very lucky indeed. Not only did we survive 18 shows in 18 days, hard work for the 40 plus rock and roll set, but we ate like kings. I'm not talking about the sort of toothsome offerings to be found at White Castle, or Chic Fil A (I kid you not, our Garmin could find the nearest Chic at will, and I loved it for that), but we had a couple of sensational restaurant experiences that provide the background for the dish appearing this week. 

About day 6 of our tour we rolled into Columbus OH. I will not regale you with the tale of the tiny, moldy, not entirely open, un-usable bathroomed club we played, but will point you in the direction of Alanas Cafe.  It is well worth your while to seek out Alana's excellent restaurant next time your in Columbus. So as it turns out Alana's husband and sommelier Kevin is a huge Mudhoney fan, and the two were kind enough to invite us for an excellent tasting menu before our gig. Alana's menu features local produce incorporated into an inventive French/Asian fusion style. Standouts from the dinner were the vietnamese lettuce wraps, the goat casserole and the skate wing all blew my mind. All other dishes and the wine were outstanding. The inspiration for todays dish was a conversation we had with Alana after dinner. She had worked for many years in New Orleans in Emeril's original restaurant. I was fascinated by the idea of eating 'gator, and after my chat with Alana I knew this was my goal down south. My first attempt in Pensacola, FL was not very successful. A deep fried egg roll with a butt load of smokey bacon that made the Alligator in the roll undetectable. So it was on to Noor-lenz for another stunning meal at the restaurant par excellence Cochon.  I ordered mainly for the apps menu here, but my band brothers were kind enough to let me try all of their entrees. Stand outs were the Whole deep friend soft shell crab and the house speciality the Cochon pork shoulder. One of my apps became the side dish tonight. The original was a Crawfish and green tomato casserole baked in a ramekin, my version  was with prawn flesh and yellow vine tomato. But it was at Cochon that I finally got to have my real gator experience. Deep fried nuggets, a'la calamari fritos. It does not taste like chicken but was white meat. It's its own thing, one must try it to know it, suffice to say all at the table enjoyed it.

So to the Alligator de jour. As it is hard to get Alligator in Seattle, I brought back 2 cans of Dales wild west Alligator cajun style. Available in any tourist trap in the French quarter. I asked around and apparently locals will serve this stuff over rice with red beans on the side. 
So there is not much to this recipe. Boil rice add tumeric or saffron to make it yellow. Heat the tinned 'gator and poor over rice. 
My red beans were done in chicken stock, with chopped celery and onions. Spices are the classic cajun spice combo of Cayenne, black and white pepper and thyme. Slow cocked for a couple of hours. 

1 comment:

Zola said...