As Ukrainians get acquainted with European cuisine, the mention of snails no longer causes such surprise and misunderstanding. On the menus of many restaurants and cafes, there are more and more appetizers and main dishes, the main ingredient of which is clam fillet. Frozen ready-made snails are available in the assortment of large supermarkets and gourmet stores. It is enough to bring such a product to readiness in just 10 minutes in the oven.
Did you know that you don’t have to go to a restaurant for tasting? We will tell you about how to cook grape snails at home in this article. To do this, you need very little: high-quality shellfish collected in an ecologically clean place, your desire and patience.
TOP 5 reasons to cook snails at home
Of course, it is much easier to taste exotic things in a restaurant or order in an online store. Moreover, when you experiment in the kitchen for the first time, it is always scary that something can go wrong, and a long process will not lead to the desired results. However, if you:
- live in a clean area away from roads;
- love to cook something new;
- think that the price for dishes that contain an ingredient available to every Ukrainian is overstated;
- live in a small town or suburb where there is no opportunity to taste shellfish;
- planning to start a profitable snail breeding business (or are already doing it),
then cooking grape snails is a must in your plans for the near future.
In addition, a nice bonus and another weighty reason is the benefits of shellfish meat. Nowadays, the desire to monitor health and eat right is literally in trend. The snail is a dietary product that is high in protein and low in fat, and is also famous as an aphrodisiac. The composition of meat contains such useful substances:
- vitamins of group B;
- vitamin E;
- selenium, etc.
The inclusion of snails in the diet helps to solve many problems:
- normalization of vitamin and mineral balance;
- improvement of the digestive tract;
- weight loss;
- help in combating stress (due to magnesium);
- increasing male potency and female libido.
So shellfish dishes are not only tasty, but also very healthy.
Cooking grape snails at home
The culinary process with snails consists of the following steps:
- collecting shellfish in the wild or buying on the farm;
- internal natural cleansing;
- primary heat treatment;
- separation from the shell;
- filing the shell;
- secondary heat treatment.
Important! Collect animals only in a clean area, away from roads and manufacturing facilities. If you are not sure about the sustainability of the environment, do not risk it: buy live or frozen snails from the farm.
Internal cleansing involves the complete elimination of feces from the body. This is a mandatory step in cooking. The molluscs are placed in a saucepan or other container, a little water is poured onto the bottom, covered with a lid (leaving an opening for air inlet) and left for 3-4 days (do not feed). Animals are washed daily and the water is changed.
Before the primary heat treatment, the snails must be washed again. Boil water in a saucepan, add salt and throw in the shellfish. In the process, foam will stand out, which must be removed with a slotted spoon. After boiling, the cooking time is 15-20 minutes.
Then proceed to remove the body from the shell. It is convenient to do this with tweezers or a small fork. Separate the fillet (the leg that the clam uses to move) with a sharp knife, making one movement towards you.
Note. If you are preparing escargot, wash the empty sinks to remove mucus and boil for 50-60 minutes in water and soda, then dry on a paper towel.
The prepared fillet must be boiled again for an hour. This time add bay leaf, black pepper, onion, dry white wine to the water. Leave the snails in this brine in the fridge overnight for a richer taste.
Now the tasty product is ready for further use. It can be added to soups, grilled, stewed with vegetables or in sour cream. But in France, the homeland of snail dishes, escargot is still the most popular. This is clam meat baked in shells with a creamy sauce. There are several variations of this appetizer, but we’ll look at a basic recipe called Burgundy escargot.
It contains ingredients that can be found in any home: butter, dill, garlic, salt, pepper. From these components we prepare a creamy sauce, mixing softened butter with chopped herbs and garlic, salt and pepper.
Put some sauce on the bottom of the prepared shell, then fillet and sauce again on top. We spread the shells with the filling on a baking sheet, sprinkled with salt and covered with foil (for stability) and bake for 10 minutes in the oven at 180 ° C.
Serve with a fresh baguette and dry white wine. We assure you that this dish will not leave your guests indifferent.
Do not be afraid to experiment in the kitchen, cook delicious delicacies at home.