Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Everglades (Fried Gator Bite grilled cheese)

This is my Florida themed Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  I call it the Everglades.  It is made with cubes of gator meat fried with a light crunchy coating.  It is topped with a spicy orange sauce with Wisconsin cream cheese and brie and then topped with Wisconsin Pepper Jack cheese.  A slaw is added for additional crunch.

Gator Ingredients:
1 lb gator meat, 1 inch cubes
1 cup buttermilk
fry oil (approx 4 cups), reserved for frying

Coating Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup corn meal
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Slaw Ingredients:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp celery seed
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
16 ozs slaw mixture

Orange Sauce Ingredients:
3 TBS cream cheese, softened
3 TBS creamed Brie cheese, softened
2 TBS mayo
2 TBS sour cream
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
3 TBS orange juice
2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp sugar

Grilled Sandwich Ingredients:
1 loaf baguette, cut in half
4 TBS butter
4 sliced pepperjack cheese
4 slices cooked bacon
1 cup arugula

1.  Soak gator meat in butter milk for 30 mins.  Add fry oil to small to medium pan.  Reserve until ready to use.
2.  In medium size bowl add all ingredients for coating mix.  Stir well to blend.  Toss gator meat in coating, covering completely.
3.  To make Slaw:  Mix all ingredients, except slaw in medium size bowl.  Mix well.  Add slaw and toss to coat.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
4.  To make: Orange Sauce:  Add all ingredients in medium size bowl.  Whisk well.  Refrigerator until ready to use.
5.  Heat oil in pan on high/medium until hot  Approx. 5-7 mins.  Test oil by throwing in a piece of coating mix to see if it sizzles, then you will know oil is hot enough.  Add gator meat to oil, (approx. 10 pieces per batch), separating each piece so them do not stick.  Fry until golden brown, approx. 4-6 mins.  Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Fry remaining pieces.
6.  Slice baguette in half, lengthwise.  Then trim off 1 inch from sides.  Then cut in half, making two sandwiches.  Butter each outside piece with butter.  Place two pieces buttered side down in preheated skillet on med heat.  Add spread with orange sauce, top with gator meat, pepper jack cheese, slaw, bacon and arugula.  Add additional sauce on top.  Place top piece of baguette on top.  Grill for approx. 5 mins or until golden brown.  Carefully, flip and grill over side, for 5 mins or until golden brown.
Makes 2 grilled sandwiches

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