" Crocodile Dundee" Gator-Tots

You may not be stranded in the Outback, but that doesn't mean you don't get hungry! Try these gator cakes--they're just like Mick would make them. (But you don't have to fight a croc first.)

You will need:

  • 3 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped fennel
  • 2-3 jalape?os, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon dry English mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning or ground chili powder
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts trimmed, chopped fine
  • 1 pound farmed alligator filet, wrestled and chopped
  • 2 cups crushed saltine cracker crumbs

For the pepper sauce:

  • 3 large, red or yellow bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar

For the Vegemite sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons Vegemite
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar
  • 1 very big knife and a bottle of sunscreen

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon clarified butter over medium heat and saute the fennel and jalape?os until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the hot mixture to a large bowl and add the egg, mayonnaise, dry mustard, Old Bay, scallions, parsley, and breadcrumbs, Stir until well blended and mix in the chopped alligator. Cover and refrigerate 15-20 minutes.
  3. Depending on the size desired, divide gator mixture into either four or eight equal portions and pat each into a plump disk. Spread crushed Saltines out in a pie dish and press the gator patties gently into the crumbs, coating all sides evenly. Carefully place on a cookie sheet; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes and up to 12 hours.
  4. Make pepper sauce: Cut the top and bottom from each bell pepper, pull out the core and cut open to create one large strip. Place pepper skin-side-up on a foil lined cookie sheet and broil 2-3 inches from the flame until blackened and blistered, about 5 minutes.
  5. Place the pepper strips in a paper bag until cool enough to handle, then scrape off the skin and transfer to a blender. Add the oyster sauce, malt vinegar, and olive oil; puree until smooth. Set the mixture aside.
  6. Make Vegemite sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until thickened and syrupy. Keep warm until use.
  7. Heat remaining clarified butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking, saute the gator croc-ettes until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn gently and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. If not eating immediately, transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 275?F oven.
  8. To serve: Pour a little pepper sauce on each plate, place 2 gator-tots over the sauce and drizzle a thin line of Vegemite sauce around the perimeter.
  9. Garnish with fennel tops or sliced green onion and serve with the admonition that the first person to say, "this tastes just like chicken" has to do the dishes.

Makes 8 large gator cakes



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