Turtle Sauce Piquant 3

1 pound turtle meat
2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
6 ribs celery, chopped
1 or 2 Jalapenos chopped
1 small can tomato paste
2-1/2 cans water
2 tablespoons sugar
10 chopped fresh lemon basil leaves
2 bay leaves
Cooking oil
Red pepper
Garlic powder

Special utensil: Heavy iron pot (Dutch oven).

Marinate turtle meat seasoned with salt and red pepper over night in enough vinegar to cover meat. Take turtle meat out of marinade. Let drain 5 to 10 minutes; do not rinse. Put about 1/2 inch of cooking oil in heavy iron pot. Turn stove on high to heat oil in pot, while seasoning meat with salt, red pepper and garlic powder. Put in enough pieces to cover bottom of pot. Brown well on all sides. As turtle browns, take out and drain on plate. Continue until all browned. Add onions, bell pepper, celery and jalapenos. Brown lightly until onions are soft. As seasonings are browned add tomato paste and 2 cans of water. Cook until meat turns light brown. Add 2 cans water, sugar and turtle meat, then basil and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Serve over hot rice with a salad and garlic bread.

Serves 8.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana