Recipe courtesy of Joey Altman

Cornmeal Crusted Rattle Snake with Cactus-Corn Succotash

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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2 1/2 pounds rattle snake, dead

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup flour

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup vegetable oil

Cactus-Corn Succotash, recipe follows

Cactus-corn succotash:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cactus pad, thorns scraped off, cut into small dice

2 ears corn, shucked

1 red onion, peeled, sliced in rings, grilled with olive oil and chopped in small dice

1 bunch scallions, grilled and chopped

1 chayote squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick, grilled with olive oil and chopped in small dice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced jalapeno

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup diced, peeled and seeded tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper


  1. 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.

Cactus-corn succotash:

  1. 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.

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