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Escargots a la Bourguignonne

Escargots a la Bourguignonne
Large snails abound in Burgundy, but the smaller petit gris of Provence work equally well in this dish. The biggest difference is that you might need more than four dozen—not a bad idea. The snails are really an excuse to eat lots of melted garlic and parsley butter, scooped up with bread.

Canned snails and packages of large shells are readily available. Stuffed snail shells are classically served in dishes with indentations for each snail, where the butter pools as it melts. Special tongs for holding the shells and a small two-pronged fork for digging out the snails are provided for each diner.

Ingredients:

  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) salted butter, at room
      temperature
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 dozen canned snails, drained
  • 4 dozen snail shells

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 450°F.

In a bowl, combine the butter, garlic, parsley and pepper and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Slip a snail into each shell, pushing it toward the back with a small spoon. Then tuck in a plug of the seasoned butter, about 2 tsp., pushing it deep into the shell and smoothing it at the opening.

Arrange the snails, the butter facing up, on snail plates with individual indentations, and place the plates on a baking sheet. Alternately, pack the snails snugly together in a shallow baking dish.

Bake until the snails are hot and the butter is beginning to melt, 10 to 12 minutes. If using snail plates, put them on individual serving plates. If the snails have been cooked in a baking dish, transfer them to small plates or shallow bowls, being careful not to lose any of the garlicky butter. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Adapted from The Savoring Series, Savoring France, (Weldon Owen Inc., 1999).