Eight Bells

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Escargot

Our planned French themed dinner party is now not far off and tonight we are cooking two or three recipes to see if we like them enough to include them and also for a little practice.

Snails
There are a few ways to serve snails and often we see them served in their own shells on television and in movies. When I lived in London my local was a french bar and restaurant called 'Jean de Florette' in Shepherds Bush (Hi Matthew and Valerie thanks for putting up with my bad behaviour). The French chef there preferred to serve them without shells in a small dish in what seemed to be a white wine, onion and stock gravy. I don't know his recipe but I have tried to come up with something similar. The first attempt tonight turned out pretty well and the snails were very tender and the dish well flavoured. I may make adjustments the next time but this recipe works well. This is to serve 2 and takes about 1 hour and 20 mins.



2 dozen snails, drained (buy them in a can from your local French shop, in Hamilton you will find them at La Cave)
4 whole anchovies (not the very salted filleted anchovies we are used to, again they are available at La Cave)
3 shallots, very finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh flat leafed parsely, chopped
1/4 of a cup of beef stock
1/4 of a cup of white wine
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of flour

Put a small frying pan on to a medium heat, add the butter, shallots and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent. Add the anchovies and mash with a fork and cook until incorporated into the onion and butter (1 or 2 minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients except the flour and simmer very slowly for 30 minutes, add a little more stock if the sauce reduces to quickly (you want the snails to cook for at least 1 hour). After 45 mins taste and adjust flavour with salt and freshly ground black pepper. After an hour thicken the sauce by adding the flour and fully incorporating it into your sauce. Cook until you have the right consistency and serve in small bowls.

4 Comments:

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Kate said...

Hamish has started freaking out in anticipation already

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger lobsie said...

I want to be invited!!!! I want to be invited!!!!

 
At 11:04 AM, Blogger Julian said...

ok you're invited

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger lobsie said...

*sells everything so she can get a plane ticket*

 

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