ESCARGOTS SAUVAGES DE BOURGOGNE
Escargot is not a standard fare served at many meals here in the states. In fact, when most people think of escargot, unfortunately they have visions of the garden pest that eats their gardens or the cute pet that their kids have. When I think of escargot, I think of the french delicacy of ESCARGOT SAUVAGES DE BOURGONGNE (wild snails of burgundy). In the history of food, many countries have raised or culitvated land snails, sea snails and fresh water snails for eating since the dawn of man’s appetite. Across the globe, snails are prepared in a variety of ways like steamed, baked, fried and even eaten raw. Snails, although small, are actually quite nutritious. They are on the higher end on the protien scale (18 grams protein per 4 ounce serving) but low in fat (2 grams fat per 4 ounce serving) and are considered a white meat. Compare this to a 4 ounce steak of 24 grams of protien (yes higher but not by much) but high in fat of 16 grams per 4 ounce serving. So this “other, other white meat” is great for your diet!
Now that you see that they are quite common in many cultures and are good for you, what about the taste and texture? I compare the taste of escargot to a sea mussel, but without the “sea” flavor. They actually have a light nutty flavor and smell. When prepared correctly, they have a buttery yet slightly firm texture (like most meat does). My favorite way to prepare them is the classic french style escargot: baked with butter, garlic and parsley in the shell. This dish is rich in flavor yet has a delicate balance of savory and hints of sweetness to make it a delicacy. To make escargot is actually very simple and quick, so this appetizer can be made in about 15 minutes. There are only 3 steps to follow: mix your compound butter of fresh chopped parsley, garlic, shallots, wine and ghee. Stuff the shells with the snail meat layered with the compound butter. Bake for about 6 minutes to melt all the flavors together (because the prepared snails are already cooked). Not only are they simple, they are a beautiful presentation! Just look at the above pic. Don’t you think it will wow your guest?
So if you want an appetizer that is a global delicacy, full of flavor and something that will catch your guests “OFF GUARD”… give this recipe for ESCARGOTS SAUVAGES DE BOURGOGNE a try. Bon Appetit…
SERVES 6 APPETIZERS
24 prepared imported Helix Snails, 7 ounce can of very large snails
24 sterilized snail shells, lightly oil with olive oil to bring out the colors of the shells
2 large organic garlic cloves, mince fine then mash with a fork to a paste
1/4 teaspoon french grey salt
2 teaspoons of fresh fine minced organic shallot
1/3 cup fine chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup ANCIENT ORGANICS brand 100% organic grass-fed GHEE (click here to buy some and if you want a discount use Honey10 as the code for a 10% discount through May 21st.) A big shout out to them for providing me with this amazing ghee to develop recipes with!
box of kosher salt (optional see instructions)
Preheat your oven to 450 F. In a medium mixing bowl, add in the garlic paste, salt, shallot, flat leaf parsley and wine. Whip on low speed with your electric hand mixer until smooth. This is your compound butter.
Take one of your oiled shells and put 1 teaspoons of the compund butter inside the shell. Place 1 prepared snail meat in the shell on top of the butter. Top the snail meat with 1 teaspoon of compund butter, gently press down to secure in place. Place the filled shell with the butter/opening side up in a baking pan. NOTE: you can bake these in a bed of kosher salt about 1/2 thick to nestle the shells in to stablize them while baking. Continue with the remaining shells, meat and compund butter as instructed. Bake in the center rack for 6 minutes until slightly bubbly. Remove from the oven. Arrange on a serving platter or in 6 impression escargot plates. Immediately serve with cocktail forks, escargot tonges and of course some fresh baked organic sourdough bread and a dry white wine.
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