I had wanted to make something with rattlesnake last week but there were no rattlesnakes to be had last Monday. On Tuesday, we caught one!
I skinned it, gutted it and froze both the snake and skin, separately. We like to freeze our game as a precaution against any sort of bugs or germs even though we keep our meat fresh and rinse it thoroughly. If you want to save the skin, roll the skin up, flesh side in and wrap it and freeze it until you’re ready to dry it. If you’re ready to dry it, staple the skin flesh side out to a board. Once it’s dry, you’ll need to brush it with antifreeze every couple days. I’ll do a project later on in more detail.
I decided to take a traditional crab cake recipe and do a little North East meets Southwest and use rattlesnake instead of crab. It was delicious. My husband, who absolutely loathes snakes, couldn’t bring himself to try it but my in-laws and their guest all loved it.
1. Make an aioli sauce. Combine all these ingredients and set aside in the fridge, allowing ingredients to marry.
For the aioli:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
2. To prepare the snake(s): You’ll need to simmer the snake in water, lemon juice and salt for an hour so that the meat will come off the bone more easily.
3. Once your snake has simmered for an hour. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool. Once you can handle it, debone all the meat and put into a mid-sized bowl.
4. Add 1/4 cup of the aioli to the snake meat mixture along with 1/3 cup finely diced celery, 1 Tablespoon minced fresh chives, 1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Set up a bowl with 1/2 cup flour, a bowl with 2 scrambled eggs and one with 1 cup panko breading. Make the meat mixture into golf ball sized balls, flattening them to make patties. Dredge patties in flour, then eggs and then panko. Fry in vegetable oil until golden. Serve with remaining aioli sauce.