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Puree of Escargot...your thoughts?

post #1 of 10
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I just read this article (link below) regarding Daniel Boulud's latest opening. The restaurant sounds great. But I must admit, he mentions creating a dish using "puree of escargot" that made me........:eek:

I have eaten at his brasserie, and love his food. And I am a fan of escargot. Yet...I don't know. Maybe in French, puree of escargot sounds more appealing. I trust his creations and I am certain that the dish itself will be tasty. But my initial reaction is shock and awe.

Your thoughts?

In case the link doesn't work, here is his quote of his idea:

“I mean, I love escargot and garlic, and all that. But I’m still thinking of doing a custard on the bottom and then a purée of escargot and then the puff pastry so you have almost a reverse tart.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/bu.../17boulud.html
post #2 of 10
A snail custard, hmmm combining 2 of my favorite foods. With snails you either love them or hate them, there's not much in between. I grew up eating them so I'm on the love side. I would not be afraid to try this tart, it's probably delicious, but I'm not a huge fan of the typical escargot dish.

My favorite preparation is fried in their shells in olive oil with a light dusting of flour, a few sprigs of rosemary, and some red wine vinegar.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 10
Funny, I picked up on that, too. Great minds . . . :lol:

Boulud is a great chef and all, but I disagree with him on this. Sometimes the creativity can take away from the essence of the dish. To me, it's the texture of escargots that makes them worthwhile. Sure, they have some flavor, but mostly I like chewing them and whatever they're with for the contrast. (I'm thinking about a Spanish tapa of snails and red beans, mmm :lips:). Now, if it were an upside down tart with whole snails (shelled, of course) in the custard, I'd be more interested. Or a savory snail clafouti? :look:

Koukouvagia -- Sounds interesting! I presume the snails are precooked? Floured and fried and then put back in the shells? Or the whole thing is floured and fried?
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #4 of 10
I'm with you on this one, Suzanne. With snails it's all about the texture, along with the flavor of what they're served with.

My feeling is that with a puree you wouldn't have a clue what you were eating.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 10
I agree. he overpowering of the snail with the garlic, herbs and butter. You could puree mushrooms and dont think you could tell difference:D:crazy:
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #6 of 10
I had snail porridge at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck. I won't be repeating the experience!
post #7 of 10
Snails belong in the garden eating your prized lettuce :)

I can imagine it would be like having an oyster puree - half the fun of oysters is in slurping them out of the shell, quick few chews, and down the hatch. Naah, no puree.
 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 #8 of 10
Actually they are cooked live in their shells. Here's how I do it.

- Remove all debris from the snails by soaking in water and scrubbing each one.
- Pour a couple of glugs of olive oil in a wide pan and place the snails in facing up... or at least try since they will be moving around :lol:
- Turn the heat on medium high.
- salt the snails well as they begin to cook.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of water and turn on high - let it boil away.
- The snails will be bubbling in green froth and slime at this point. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tbsp of flour and add a couple of sprigs of rosemary. Let the flour get golden crisp.
- the snails will be ready when they can easily be taken out of their shell with a fork. If you can't pry them out they're over cooked.
- Before removing from the pan pour in 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar.

Serve immediately - it's a kind of meze (tapas) and should be served salty with an alcoholic beverage!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #9 of 10
Not to join in the chorus here, but I can't say I've ever noticed snails having much in the way of flavor. I think of them as texture food, something very big in Chinese cuisine (certain mushrooms, most shark fin, etc.): the texture is interesting, and contrasts well with something else, and that's all she wrote. The idea of completely destroying that texture... what's the point? If I were going to make that tart, I'd try using pureed semi-dried mushroom stems -- you know, every time you cut them off to make a stuffed mushroom, just leave them aside on a towel; when you finish cleanup for the night, shove 'em in a bag in the freezer; then thaw, puree, and you're in business!
post #10 of 10
I'm on the truly detest side of the dish. Couldn't stomach them in school, tried a few years later and.....even a few years after that. So I just gave up on trying them anymore. Third time thing there only it wasn't a charm. ;):smiles:

Anyhow, the idea of pureed snails is no more appealing to me than....well.... never mind on that but speaking from a personal philosophy of cooking, I'd have to agree with Suzanne that...... This would apply to any classic dish even the one's I don't care for.
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