Growing up in the South, my daddy taught me you should always eat what you kill. When it comes to venison and turkey and even those hairy javelinas, I’ve come to embrace this life lesson, and I’ve come up with many a recipe that will get passed down in my family, for sure. My sons love to eat what they kill and show up at my doorstep with their prizes from the hunt, eagerly waiting to see what I might be preparing for dinner.
Well, last month, my oldest son sure managed to put me to the challenge. He and his buddy spent the weekend at the ranch, and while they were loading the deer feeders with corn, they came across these two gigantic rattlesnakes they decided to shoot. Lo and behold, they skinned them and brought them home for me to cook. I’d actually heard from my grandma that rattlesnake was white meat and quite delicious, but I’d never dared braved to cook one of those suckers before. Who knew what it was really going to taste like.
Equipped with some serious courage, I dove into this recipe and I have to tell you, this one is a show stopper. Truly delicious and definitely not something you’ll forget making. Good or bad, my boys will now be bringing some several snakes each summer. As they say, if you have lemons, make lemonade. Well, if you have rattlesnakes, make snake cakes!
a pound of rattlesnake
3 quarts water
medium-sized yellow onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T Tabasco
Rattlesnake Cake Crust Mix
3/4 cup pistachio nuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
2 cups mayo
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 can chipotle peppers
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves
To prepare the snake:
In a large dutch oven, combine 3 quarts of water, a cup of white wine, 2 tablespoons of salt, a chopped yellow onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, lemon juice from five lemons, 2 T hot sauce like Tabasco. Put your snake in and boil for a good long time until tender. Check on that snake after 30 minutes and add some more water if you need to. When your rattlesnake meat is flaky and tender, remove it from the liquid and cool. Discard the liquid and let the meat cool off, then pull the snake meat off the bones. A fork will assist you to get the meat from hard to reach places. Chop the meat into smallish chunks until it is the consistency of crab meat. Set aside.
To prepare the crust:
In a food processor, combine nuts, bread crumbs, sesame seeds, salt and pepper. Grind until coarse.
To make the cakes:
Take the rattlesnake meat and form balls by hand. These should be about the size of a golf ball or slightly smaller. Flatten each slightly with your hand to make a patty then press into the nut crust mix until thoroughly covered. Repeat this step with each ball until all of your rattlesnake cakes are covered in the crust.
To prep the sauce:
Clean the food processor, then add all sauce ingredients: mayo, chipotle peppers, garlic, brown sugar, Worcestershire, cilantro. Puree until smooth.
To cook your rattlesnake cakes:
Over medium heat, add 1/2 cup olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or large frying pan. At 325 degrees, place your snake cakes in the oil and fry for a few minutes on each side until each is golden brown. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil and repeat until all of your snake cakes are fried.
While still hot, serve with chipotle aioli sauce.
Easier Way to Cook Snake:
Snake cakes too much trouble for you? Deep fry the whole thing for a quick dinner. Dip the snake in egg and some cornbread mix, then deep fry. This video below shows you how.