Stacie L has been an educator for many years and likes to share her experiences and advice.
Cooking ingredients from nature
Swamp people or Cajuns have lived in the swamps around New Orleans for many generations and have adapted to the environment well.
The swamp congers images of a dark and scary place filled with alligators, snakes and creepy crawlies no one would want to encounter.
Not many would consider this place to create great recipes. There are those who live and eat what they hunt right in the water.
For example, the new History.com channel program titled, “Swamp People” takes their audience into the back waters and provides a glimpse into their unusual lives. The show so far, has focused on a short time period of these "'gator hunters" must capture, kill and bring in a certain number of alligators in order to make their years budget. There are alligator brokers ready to buy their catch, which surprised me.
The main hunters on this program do eat what they catch. many episodes show them cooking the gators that they catch.
Most work as a team but there are a few that work alone, making their work extremely dangerous. Next time you sit down to some frog legs and alligator balls, be sure to watch an episode to appreciate how hard they work to get that on the table.
I didn't realize there was a legal market for this. Most of the country does not know about these people and probably wouldn't venture into the swamps alone. I like to learn about cultures and traditions and this group of people are new to me.
They hunt alligators, frogs, snakes, turtles, catfish, and have adapted these unusual creatures to some interesting recipes.
The French delicacy of frog legs is served in some of the finest restaurants in America and some down home places in the country.
The Louisiana Bayou country has Cajun favorites that you may want to try. Be brave and see if this grows on you.
I did not make up these recipes. They have come from other readers and sites and I have identified them.
Cajun Alligator Balls Recipe
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 pound chopped alligator meat
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
Combine all ingredients, then form into 1-inch balls.
Allow to set for 1 hour.
Dredge with flour and fry until brown.
This recipe is from our Cajun recipes collection
"Swamp People" Cook
Boiled Craw fish Recipe
list of ingredients
2 bags dry crab boil nix
30 pounds live craw fish
Corn on cob
3 lemons, sectioned
3 onions, sectioned
2 cups rock salt
3 tablespoons red pepper
1 medium jar prepared mustard
2 cans beer
- Place 30-quart pot filled with water over high heat. Add lemons, onions, rock salt, red pepper and mustard. Add crab boil. Mix, breaking bags and boil 10 minutes.
- Add craw fish, corn and new potatoes. Return to boil 7 minutes, adding beer the last 2 minutes. Cover pot. Turn off heat and allow to simmer 3 minutes. Remove craw fish and apply table salt before peeling.
- Heap craw fish, corn and potatoes on platter.
Recipe is in the Cajun Cooking Recipes book link below.
Sticky Teriyaki Frog Legs
Spicy Teriyaki Frog Legs (fried)
I make my own Teriyaki marinade and this is the kicker…
List of ingredients;
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 ounce fresh ground ginger root (substitute 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger)
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/4 cup onion finely chopped
- Melt butter in small cooking pot.
- Add all ingredients and bring to boil stirring often (cook about 10 minutes).
- Let cool and add meat to marinade.
- Marinate frog legs overnight in refrigerator. If the marinade does not cover all of the meat, add water to adjust.
For my coating I use…
2 cups milk
1 cup of Bass Pro Shops “Uncle Bucks Hot Fish Batter”
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup buttermilk pancake mix
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
- In zip-loc bag mix all dry ingredients.
- Dredge 4 sets frog legs thoroughly in milk and then put in zip-loc bag, shake vigorously for 30 seconds, remove frog legs and coat the remaining.
- Fry frog legs as you normally would. The taste is terrific!
G. Harrow- VA.
Recipe is in the cooking Louisiana cookbook link below.
Dave's Turtle Sauce Piquant
3-4 lbs. cubed Turtle Meat *Marinate the turtle with a little salt, black pepper and equal parts of water and vinegar for at least 24 hours*
Stock is very, very important. Do not use plain water.
**** If available, make fresh turtle stock from the Turtle Bones. Cook long and slow with coarsely cut carrot, onion, celery, salt and black & red peppercorns. Simmer for 4-5 hours.
At least make the stock from beef bones using the same method****
Make a light chocolate colored Roux with one cup of Flour and one cup of Oil (your preference) in a large iron pot.
Add the following to sauté in the cooked Roux:
2 large yellow onions (chop fine) *when available, Vidalia's are the best*
3 ribs of celery (chop fine)
1 large Sweet Bell Pepper (seed and chop fine)
1 bunch Green Onion (chop fine)
8 oz. pkg. fresh Mushrooms (chop fine)
2 mild Green Chilies (seed and chop fine)
2 Jalapeños (chop fine) *extra heat in the pulp and seeds*
3 toes fresh Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup chopped fresh Parsley
- Begin stirring-in 2-3 cups of Stock.
- Stir-in a small can of Tomato Paste, a 16 oz. can of Tomato Sauce, 15 oz. can of Crushed Tomato,15 oz. can of Petit Diced Tomato and one can of your favorite beer.
- When the heat has risen to slow boil, add juice from one Lemon, 3-4 drops of Bitters and a few dashes of Dry Red Wine, Worcestershire and Tabasco Sauce.
- Season with one tbsp. each of Salt, Black Pepper, Red Pepper, White Pepper, Creole Season (Tony Chachere's is my favorite), and dried Oregano, Marjoram, Thyme and a couple of Bay Leaves and a pinch of Sugar.
- Rinse-off the Turtle and pat-dry with paper towels. Season with a little Salt, Black Pepper and Creole Seasoning. Dredge in a little flour and brown in a skillet.
- Add the meat to your pot and bring back up to a slow boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer or transfer in a slow cooker and simmer for 5-6 hours. If needed, check to skim-off any fat and taste to add any more seasoning.
- *only taste just before your pot is done because you have so many ingredients, smells, textures and flavors"marrying", the taste and smell can be a little deceiving at first...be patient*
This recipe can be found on the CookingLouisiana site.
Final thoughts about Cajun recipes
So much is misunderstood about the people and their ways in the swamps of Louisiana.
New Orleans gets most of the attention from the tourists but the many people live in the waterways nearby. Tourists have come to expect recipes such as Jambalaya or shrimp with dirty rice, but seldom investigate the more unusual cuisine using alligator, frogs, snakes and turtles.
Here are some of the newest and unusual recipes from the swamp people or Cajuns living in the Louisiana swamp area in the southern part of the state.
There are Cajuns that make their living off the swamp and surrounding land. They may have more unusual prey and methods than those in other regions of the country, but they are hard working people making an honest living.
Try some of these newer and unusual recipes from a cookbook mentioned here.I have tried frog legs and some actually taste like chicken but I can't get the frog images out of my head.
- Cajun Cooking Recipes
Cajun Cooking Recipes focuses on Cajun Cooking, but also includes free recipes from around the world, funny jokes, cooking stories, fun message board, newsletter, party supplies and more.
- Cajun Cooking at Cooking Louisiana - Home Page
© 2010 Stacie L
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 04, 2013:
I have eaten frog legs, turtle (in soup) and crawfish but not alligator or snake. I would try it if it was ever on a menu. I would not be interested in the hunting or killing of them however. Interesting hub. Up, useful and interesting votes.
Stacie L (author) on August 16, 2012:
I haven't had the nerve to try frogs legs but hear they are tasty!
Maybe alligator balls will be next on your list. Thanks for reading.
John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on August 16, 2012:
Great hub. I have to try frogs legs one of these days...keep saying it but haven't done it....
Stacie L (author) on February 05, 2012:
Hypersapien : yes , I love to watch "swamp people" also and I'm amazed how people make their living and how they use the natural resources in their recipes.
Hypersapien on February 05, 2012:
I love that show and I love Cajun cooking, so two thumbs up on this hub!
breanna on November 25, 2011:
i love swamp people u rock troy and jacob
Stacie L (author) on November 23, 2011:
Eddie G. I don't have the recipes for meat pies but you can check one of the links I have elisted;http://www.cajuncookingrecipes.com/cajun
Thanks for reading.
Eddie G. on November 18, 2011:
HELLO !!! Do you have the recipe for meat pies ? they are really good !!
Stacie L (author) on October 31, 2010:
thanks for reading and commenting gr82bme!
I'm glad you found a good recipe.:-)
gr82bme from USA on October 31, 2010:
My son loves Crawfish. Now I have the recipe. Thank you
Stacie L (author) on October 27, 2010:
thanks KoffeeKlatch Gals..I thought the ingredients were different enough to try in a recipe! LOL
Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on October 25, 2010:
Interesting recipes. My husband and I watch Swamp People and enjoy it.
Stacie L (author) on October 20, 2010:
thanks for reading and commenting suziecat7!
suziecat7 from Asheville, NC on October 20, 2010:
This is a different and interesting Hub. Enjoyed it - thanks.