I had always shunned eating anything that could be found crawling in my garden, until one day walking back from a visit to the Louvre, my husband and I stopped for a little lunch. I ordered French onion soup and he ordered escargot. I think I made him trade with me.
Buttery, garlicy escargot will delight and impress your guests, and is about as simple to prepare as toast.
The shells can be a bit of an investment, but the good news is that they are completely reusable. Just wash them in hot, soapy water and then boil them for a few minutes in a pot of water with a little white vinegar to remove any remaining oils. Allow to dry completely and store them in a closed container for your next French dinner.
Ingredients: (serves 6)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) of butter, brought to room temperature
8 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup chopped parsley
2 T white wine or vermouth
1 1/2 t salt
Bread crumbs (optional)
Finely mince the garlic, shallot and parsley. Add the remaining ingredients (butter, wine and salt) and mash with a fork until thoroughly blended. Place the mixture in a zip-lock bag.
Drain and rinse the escargot, and allow them to thoroughly drain in a colander.
Assemble the escargot by cutting the corner from the zip-lock bag and piping in about a teaspoon of the butter mixture into shells. Insert an escargot into each shell, and top with a bit more butter. This can be done in advance, but bring to room temperature again before baking.
If desired, top with a sprinkling of bread crumbs. It gives a little extra flavor and texture.
When ready to serve, bake in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
Serve with your favorite sliced baguette, fresh from the bakery.