Using a sharp boning knife remove the meat from the snake by cutting down the back, just slightly to 1 side of the spine from the head to the rattle. Using the tip of the knife peel the meat from the ?rib cage?. Once you removed the 2 long strips of meat, lightly pound them with the back of the knife to tenderize them. Cut the strips of meat into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl with the buttermilk. Mix to coat well. In a large bowl combine the cornmeal with the flour and the spices. Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Dredge the snake pieces in the flour mixture and fry for 2 minutes or until golden brown and then transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat until all the snake pieces are cooked. Serve with Cactus-Corn Succotash.
Grilling the vegetables first gives another great layer of flavor, however, it is not absolutely necessary. Just omit that step and cook the vegetable right in the pan. In a skillet on high heat saute the vegetables except the tomatoes in the olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the stock and butter and cook until mixture reduces by half. Add tomatoes and seasoning and serve with the warm snake "nuggets" on top.
Recipe courtesy of Joey Altman, Copyright 2001
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