Tell you what. When they said, "Alligator tastes just like chicken," they weren't lying. It really does and it became a huge turn off to me. I mean, the concept of what I made was fantastic. I loved the flavor and since the gator absorbed most of the flavor, it was palatable for me; however, the harsh protein and mouth feel of the gator itself just didn't sit well.
Grillades is a form of Creole cubed steak and is traditionally served over grits in a trinity sauce (FYI trinity is celery, onions, and pepper for NOLA cuisine). It's very straight forward and easy which is why many refer to this as comfort food. It is typically served for breakfast or brunch in NOLA. Next time, I'd use tempeh or some other form of protein since the gator was too tough for me to tolerate. Gator, itself is supposed to be pretty good for you. This is what I take from wisegeek :
"Alligator meat is considered to be healthier than domestic chicken, especially when it comes to cholesterol and fat content. The most common alligator meat product sold in stores is the tail section. Alligator tail meat is very similar toveal in texture, but is said to taste like chicken, rabbit, fish or frog's legs. Some also compare the tail meat to the white portions of pork. There is also a tenderloin portion of alligator meat, located in a tubular section of the tail.
While the tail portion may be considered the best section of alligator meat, there is also some consumer demand for the darker, slightly tougher midsection meat. The taste of the midsection alligator meat is said to be closer to a pork shoulder, with sinewy grains and a stronger natural flavor than the tail section. Some alligator meat enthusiasts also enjoy the meat found in an alligator's feet, often called the alligator's wings. The flavor and texture reportedly resembles frog's legs."
I guess it does, too, remind me of pork which is also why I can't stomach it. I mean, there isn't a real flavor to it but the toughness of the meat itself just doesn't go down easy. I do, however, recommend for everyone to try it. As classification goes, it really varies. Some classify it as seafood while other classify it as meat. I say since I got it from a fish monger, it's considered seafood to me even though the texture is like meat. Then again, tuna also has a very chicken-y texture too on some occasions, so, it really depends on your mindset I suppose. Meh. Whatever. Just go with it.
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 small green bell pepper, diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
2-3 pieces of alligator meat
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Braggs Amino acids
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Creole seasoning
Crystal hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp nondairy margarine Green onions (optional, for garnish - I didn't have any)
1/2 cup buttermilk or coconut milk plus 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
Chop the gator meat in small fingernail pieces and marinade the gator meat in the milk overnight. This is to tenderize it, so swears the fish monger.
Next day, sauté the trinity in a pan until soft. Add the tomatoes and a bit of water to deglaze. Stir in the garlic, vinegar, Braggs, and 1 tbsp of seasoning. Salt and pepper as you go. Bring this down to a simmer. Drain the meat and add it to the pan. Place a lid on the pan and on a medium simmer, simmer for about 10 to 12 minutes. The meat will turn white when it is done. After this immediately turn off the heat.
Add the crystals sauce, last tablespoon of seasoning, and stir in the margarine.
Some suggest to thicken the sauce with cornstarch, but I didn't and it came perfect to me because I didn't add a significant amount of water. You can do so if you wish, but, I figure it was perfect to be absorbed by the grits. You can also serve this with rice instead or bread - which is why I find thickening it unnecessary.
You can totally interchange the protein as well. Try, mm, tempeh or tofu or chickpeas or chickpea dumplings, which, I think would be awesome.