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The end-of-year celebrations are an opportunity to pull out all the stops. The Christmas meal is a key moment where a farandole of exceptional products follows: foie gras, oysters, turkey, logs… Among these essentials, we also include snails, particularly cooked in parsley, which are generally served as a starter . Particularly appreciated, there are numerous recipes based on snails. But before enhancing this product, you still need to know how to cook them. In this article, we explain how to cook them successfully.
If you decide to opt for live snails and not yet pre-cooked or frozen, there are a few steps to follow before cooking this product. First of all, it is important to fast the snails for about 1 week to rid them of any herbs they may have ingested which can be toxic to humans.
Then wash them carefully in salt and vinegar water, rubbing them and checking them one by one. Eliminate those that are curled up deep in their shells because they are dead. Then, immerse them for 5 minutes in boiling salted and vinegared water. Drain them. Bring them out of their shell.
To cook the snails, the stock step is obligatory if they are not already precooked. For this, it is essential to make a tasty broth with white wine, vegetables and herbs. Then simply bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat before adding the snails and letting them cook. Allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for the petit gris and 2.5 hours for the Burgundy snails. Let them cool in the broth before draining them.
The flagship recipe for snails remains snails with parsley butter. A recipe that is generally made in the oven. To do this, once the snails are cooked in stock, drain them. Prepare the softened butter with parsley and garlic on the side. Wait until the snails have cooled well before filling their shells with the flesh and the parsley butter. Place them in a dish and cook in the oven for about 7 minutes.
It’s up to you to adapt the recipe according to your tastes. To twist this classic recipe, chef Christophe shows you how to make snail casseroles made from spinach and snails (without shell), a real treat. The proof in pictures.
If you do not want to keep the shells of your snails, it is possible to cook them in a pan after cooking in court broth. Then brown them in the pan with a little butter or olive oil for several minutes. Leave on the heat for a few moments, stirring constantly.
You can create the aromatic garnish you want with a few spices or aromatic herbs, such as garlic or parsley, a classic for escargots that always works. It is also possible to combine them with a vegetable, such as mushrooms for example, for an even more delicious dish.
For the holidays, many opt for frozen snails that are much simpler to prepare. Generally, the cooking method is indicated on the package. It is often recommended to bake them in the oven. To do this, most of the time, you just need to preheat it to 180°C and leave them for 12 to 15 minutes, monitoring the cooking of course! Once again, this must be checked with the instructions given on the packaging.
There are many snail-based recipes! You can vary the pleasures by testing, for example, snails with Roquefort or even small snail puffs with fresh cheese and parsley. We’re salivating in advance!