Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Snails in Garlic Butter (Escargots au beurre d'ail)...

Today is France's National Day commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution-- the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération-- celebrating the unity of the French on 14 July 1790. I'm giving nod to this occasion with a popular French appetizer of snails in garlic butter recipe-- Escargots au beurre d'ail. Apparently a dish I've introduced dozens of my friends to, and to this day they attest this was the dish that broke them into eating snails and their cousins...

Flashback a few months, I'll never forget when the twins came home one day after school begging me to make snails. I asked them if they knew what it was and why the interest. A classmate was bragging he ate snails, and so now not only did my boys want me to make it for dinner; they also wanted to take it for school as a snack. I made escargots au beurre d'ail using canned snails- tasty they say but not sure of the chewy texture. Pretty sure they won't ask me to make it again-- but so cool that they asked and tried it though...

You can buy escargot dishes at the dollar store-- the ceramic dish usually contains six pocket holes.

Escargots au beurre d'ail
For about 36 snails in a can

1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 shallot, finely chopped or 2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can escargot, drained, rinsed and well-drained
3-4 Tbsp. white wine
salt and ground black pepper to taste
bread crumbs (optional)
parsley or chopped green onions (for garnish)

Melt butter and olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Sauté shallots/onion and garlic until fragrant and soft. Add the escargots, and cook for about a minute. Then finish with white wine and let simmer for another minute; season with salt and pepper. Place three snails in each of the dish holes along with spoon in some of the butter-wine sauce. You can also sprinkle some bread crumbs on top. Pop in the toaster oven to bake at 375F for about ten minutes until bubbling. Top with parsley or green onions. Serve with sliced French baguette to sop up the juices. Voila!!

Look for canned snails in the canned fish aisle at supermarkets or at specialty seafood stores for premium brands.

For some other French dishes to try-- here is my friend Juli Bailer's Healthibella's Salade Niçoise-- a beautiful French salad from Nice. Vibrant, colourful and healthy with hard-boiled eggs, green beans, cherry tomatoes, boiled potatoes, cucumbers, radishes, olives and of course tuna. And my classic Beouf Bourguignon-- a delicious famous French slow-simmering beef stew made with red wine, bacon, onions and mushrooms. Bon appétit!

Healthibella's Salade Niçoise

Beouf Bourguignon 

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