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Live Fresh Snails

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
We were shocked to see these at the supermarket. So we bought a half dozen. (they were 2.87)

Chef has vague memories of them from culinary school 24 years ago. We looked in some cookbooks, but only Joy of Cooking tells you how to prepare them. They say to put them in a salt/water/vinegar solution three times to wash/kill? them. Then they to say to cut off the disc part then throw them in boiling water for 3 HOURS!

I did a quick search online, but everything I found called for canned snails.

Chef seems to remember doing nothing to them but scrubbing them, shell and all---and then throwing them in a saute pan with butter/white wine for 20 minutes. Then he'd pull the meat out, trim the disc off, stick some garlicy butter in the shell and then stick the snail meat in and rewarm in the oven.

Anybody with experience with live fresh snails?
post #2 of 19
The Gauls and the Romans :D

They are one of my favorite things to eat, but I have never made them from scratch to that extent.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I don't know if I can post a link, but by searching for "live snails" rather than "snail recipes," I found some info on how to prepare these guys.

Jean Michel Lorain, a french chef, (duh) cooks them all night! And he suggests a fasting period and salting them and cooking them overnight in a flavorful broth.

See: Preparing Live Snails, recipe and technique with Jean-Michel Lorain on the Worldwide Gourmet
post #4 of 19
I used to simmer them in court boullion for an hour, Remove, Cool, Clean then prep w/ garlic,Shallot and Fines herb butter. Then bake until bubbling and serve with fresh crusty french bagguette.:lips::chef:
http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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http://www.frappr.com/chefsunited
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -


'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
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post #5 of 19
There are some good answers here.Jean Michel Lorain fasting recommendation is important. This allows them to slowly purge (clean) there innards. Then vinegar, wine,salt and mire poix + garlic and let macerate. The acid and salt stabilizes and adds flavor to the proteins. The aromatics also add flavor, the sugars is the carrots and onions balance the aggressiveness of the salt and acid (think gravlox) Wash snails and hit them again with salt and vinegar, let them purge again for a number of hours. Clean again,blanch starting with cold water for about 10/15 minutes. Cool and remove snails from there shell (if using the shells, wash and simmer for an hour, then air dry)Wash snails again, cover with cold water (some white wine is good here also) add fresh aromatics and simmer for a couple hours. Let them cool in the liquid, then move on with your recipe.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #6 of 19
Try googling Heston Blumenthal's recipe for snail porridge. Sounds gross but hey, he's supposed to have the best restaurant in the world. Don't think I'll swap my Vegemite and toast for that tho :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #7 of 19
Not the Golden Spurtle tho
post #8 of 19
Andy, you have way too much time on your hands :rolleyes:

I'm sure the snails didn't feature in the Golden Spurtle competition - twould be scandalous - shocking even :)
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #9 of 19
Jean-Michel (a friend of mine! :)) knows his stuff!

We found some snails near our house years ago in San Diego. We caught them in a box and fed them corn meal to purge whatever they'd been eating for 3 days. Then we simmered them as J-M described, for a long time, but not overnight.

I love 'em with the traditional parsley/garlic butter over fettuccine. Makes you forget all about Alfredo!
post #10 of 19
DC
I have tried the snail porridge when I ate at the Fat Duck a while back.
In one word: YUK :crazy:
post #11 of 19
One of my former chefs told me of an incident at a hotel he was working at the time. It involved a forgotten lid and snails crawling on the concierge's desk weeks later.
post #12 of 19
HA HA someone I knew baked live crab. They busted out of the oven.
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
We were careful to keep them chilled in the fridge with a lid on. Neither one of us wants an errant snail crawling around the house.

It appears that they've already been "fasted." I called the supermarket's fish department and asked where they were from (USA) and how they had been packed. Was there cornmeal or lettuce or anything in the crate when you got them? Nope.

Chef rinsed them in a series of vinegar/salt baths, which I didn't pay attention to; I was reading a book.

As much as I luv a bouquet garni, we are living in the ice and snow right now, so a true court bullion is impossible, but chef rustled up a nice chix broth and the snails have been simmering in that for an hour. They are definately dead at this point, but they smell good. Can't go wrong with celery, carrots, onions, garlic and chicken bones. Some lemon juice and butter and everything's gonna taste good.
post #14 of 19
Call me when they're ready! :lips:
post #15 of 19
This one is very interesting, I was always taught to simmer in a boullion for several hours untill tender then prepare as above with a garlic and parsley butter then reheat in the oven. However having lived in France for the past 5 years the locals would totaly disagree they simply saute them in garlic butter for a few minutes then pick them out the shell and eat them as fresh as that [ not for the faint hearted].
Steve www.masterchefinfrance.com
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Chef was pleased that you confirmed that people just saute them shell and all in butter. But all of the recipes we found said to simmer in boullion forever.

Well, we should have tried it both ways.

He simmered them for an hour, but they were pretty rubbery and unappetizing looking. He wrapped them in bacon and broiled them hoping, I guess, that the bacon fat would improve them, but alas...

I'm not squeamish and I usually will eat everything, but these were just kinda gross. But at least we have the cool looking shells---should be able to think up something to do with those.
post #17 of 19
They're not bad raw either, with some dipping butter and salt.

But be careful about one thing.

You've probably noticed smelly pee after eating asparagus?

I had some raw snails at a restaurant in Brussells a couple years back.....I was pissing snail smell for a month!!!

Cat Man
post #18 of 19

Snail Porridge

Ish,

I can quite imagine it would be :eek: HB seemed to think it was "all that" and then some. Well, it got our attention if nothing else - maybe that was the intention of the invention.

Daina
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #19 of 19
Wow! I don't know if I could bring myself to cook live snails! I love escargot but handling them while they're alive is a bit much!
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