Snails have been eaten all over the world for hundreds of years. For our country, this product still seems strange, so Ukrainians do not always dare to try a shellfish dish in a restaurant.
The cost of a snail snack in the establishment is quite high. Therefore, if you are not ready to pay a large sum for something that you have never tried before, we offer to cook gastropods with us at home.
The process of culinary processing of snails is not complicated at all, so even novice cooks can do it.
Collection and processing of live snails
Snails are most active in May and early June. This period is considered the most successful for the collection.
Important! Under natural conditions, animals can be collected only in ecologically clean places, remote from production plants, treatment facilities and roads.
Go for your catch early in the morning (from 5 to 9), when the sun is just rising. Then the sun’s rays will become more aggressive and the mollusks will hide.
When it is a rainy day, they are happy to crawl to the surface, so they organize the collection at any time.
If you are not sure about the cleanliness of the surrounding area or decided to cook a new dish at another time of the year, live snails can be bought at the nearest farm, of which there are quite a lot in Ukraine now. Frozen shellfish are sold in supermarkets and online stores.
After the harvest is in the basket, proceed to the first and main cleaning stage. It involves the complete emptying of the intestines from excrement. Do not worry, this process will not require your direct participation.
So, rinse the clams, put in a container covered with a lid with holes for air intake, and leave it there for 3 days. Some cooks add a little flour to the bottom at this stage so that the snails eat it to cleanse the intestines even better.
You can’t feed the animals anymore. Rinse them a couple of times a day under running water.
After the specified time has elapsed, rinse the snails again and start preparing the fillet:
- put a pot of water on the fire;
- bring to a boil;
- throw shellfish into boiling water;
- boil for 15 minutes;
- remove with a slotted spoon and lay out to cool.
The body is now easily removed from the shell. This can be done with a fine fork or tweezers. Having laid out the “naked” snails on the board, use a sharp knife to separate the leg with which the animal crawls with one confident movement. The rest will not be needed, so feel free to put it in the trash can.
Note. There is a recipe of grape snails, where shells are used, in which the meat is directly baked. If you decide to make the famous escargot, the shells need to be saved.
When all the snails are cut, proceed to the heat treatment of the snail meat. First, boil fresh water, add salt, toss in a couple of dried bay leaves, peppercorns, peeled onions and carrots. This will make the fillet more flavorful.
The fillet has a rather neutral taste, so it is prepared with herbs and other products that add spice and aroma to the dish.
Where to use snails now? Here, let your imagination run wild, as you can:
- add to soups and salads.
There are recipes of grape snails on the Internet and in particular on our website. Use this healthy ingredient to create new culinary masterpieces!