Rattlesnake Quesadillas
September 16, 2004 5:00 AM   Subscribe

I am cooking rattlesnake quesadillas tonight for a small dinner party. Every Google'd recipe I've seen so far treats rattlesnake the same was as chicken when it comes to preparation. However, the nice folks at Savenor's said the rattlesnake should be parboiled, which has thrown my limited cookery skill into a tizzy. So how are you supposed to cook rattlesnake? Is there a way to season it while it's being parboiled?
posted by robocop is bleeding to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Parboil it in a seasoned liquid such as court bouillon.
posted by briank at 6:05 AM on September 16, 2004

Simple, but effective.

But seriously. There is some good info here. From that site, it looks like the justification for parboiling is: "The meat of the rattlesnake will have a thick part (near the spine) and a thin part on the lower part of the ribs. Thus, when cooking by frying or grilling, the lower part of the ribs will cook quickest and may tend to dry out or become overcooked using any of those methods. There is not the same problem in roasting or baking using a moist heat (i.e., sauces or plain water). The lower part of the rib meat will be tender as the 'brisket.'" There's a recipe on that page for parboiling in a cream sauce (300 degree oven for one hour), but you could use any liquid, seasoned however you prefer.
posted by Otis at 6:43 AM on September 16, 2004

Can I come round? I've never eaten snake, and have no access to rattlesnakes here in the UK
posted by Pericles at 7:02 AM on September 16, 2004

Otis, I was so thinking about linking that as well (the first link, that is). Heh.
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:29 AM on September 16, 2004

Response by poster: The Savenor's folks said to parboil for 30 minutes. Is that enough, or will I have to cook the snake more? What sort of spices would go well with snakemeat, considering that it'll be neck-and-neck with salsa in the finished product?

(I've never had snake either. Hopefully it'll be close to gator, which was tasty in that gumbo.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:51 AM on September 16, 2004

Once we ran over a big one, pulled over and grabbed it off the road. Skinned and gutted, the fillets were terrific with lemon, salt & pepper and some chili flake, charcoal grilled. Sort of a cross between free range chicken and unagi.
posted by luriete at 9:36 AM on September 16, 2004

Everything is better with Old Bay.
posted by terrapin at 9:47 AM on September 16, 2004

I have no idea how long it takes to cook rattlesnake, but I would assume that if they're saying you should "parboil" it, that means it won't be cooked through at the end. Parboiling is usually a prelimary step before cooking to completion in some other way.
posted by kenko at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2004

I've never had snake either. Hopefully it'll be close to gator, which was tasty in that gumbo.

I used to swap peanut butter sandwiches for rattlesnake on the playground as a little kid (both in sandwich and spicy jerky form)... Rattlesnake, as I recall, is less greasy/gamey than gator.

Of course it's been almost 15 years since I've eaten any meat other than fish, and then only when it's too impolite to refuse meat, so ymmv.
posted by togdon at 10:42 AM on September 16, 2004

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