Escargot with Garlic Butter and Splash of Cognac – a 10 minute dish

escargot

(click photo above for the series of photos – there are about a dozen photos that didn’t make the cut, leading up to the money shot)

I eat most anything, and especially take a liking to items of food that normally cause a crinkly nosed “eeewwww” from most, as evidenced by this post. Slimy snails, cod fish sperm sac and regurgitated bird spit, it’s all good. And…you know you’ve got strange food when none of your normal food blog categories fit. It’s not chicken. It’s not seafood. And I certainly don’t want to create a whole ‘nother category called “slug.”

:-)

I hope I haven’t grossed you all out.

Well, if you enjoy escargot at fancy schmancy restaurants, I’m here to show you that it only takes 10 minutes to make them at home. The escargots come in a convenient can – even the restaurants get them from a can! Well, did you really expect that when you order escargot from the restaurant, the chef heads out the back door, scouring on his hands and knees for a few juicy buggers to cook?

Snails in a can A fancy recipe name for Snails in a Can. Just a few ingredients and you’ll be on your way to a fancy horse-doovies (what Andrew calls hors d’oeuvres)You can find cans of escargot at most major supermarkets (look in the same isle as other canned seafood, usually top shelf) for about $7 a can. 18 escargots per can.

I got these escargot dishes at a local cookware outlet store and then found these shells online somewhere. But you don’t really need these large shells. In fact, you don’t even need the escargot dish. Just use a shallow oven-proof dish.

Shells

Escargot with Garlic Butter and Splash of Cognac

Preheat oven to 450F.

Smushed clove of garlic +1/2 stick of softened butter + big pinch of kosher salt + minced parsley. Open can of escargot, drain. Stuff an escargot in a shell, Smother it with garlic butter. The more garlic you smother, the more garlicy buttery goodness you get to mop up with a hunk of bread.

oooh, but hey, look what I found in the liquor cabinet!

Cognac.

Splash some cognac all over the shells. Stick in oven for 7 minutes. The garlic butter melts and mingles with the cognac – perfect for dipping.

Husband has a point.

Scott:

I don’t get it.

People forage for snails. Cook and remove them from their shells.

Stick ‘em in a can.

You open the can.

Stick ‘em in a new shell, not their own.

Cook them again.

Then remove them from their not-their-own-shell to eat.

Why bother?

The photos that didn’t make the cut

Or I should just say – the photos that led up to the money shot.

Comments 64

  1. Julie

    I’ve loved loved LOVED escargot since I was a kid–sounds strange huh? Not really the usual child’s fare, but I suppose I got a kick out of eating *snails* plus it tasted sooooo good. The hubby & I even stopped frequenting a particular restaurant because they took escargot off their appetizer menu. Crazy fools!

  2. LunaPierCook

    Ok, is my mind going all flurky … or does that can of frigg’in snails actually have the Reese’s logo on it that’s the same that’s on the peanut butter cups?? The restaurant I work with does have helix snails on the appetizer menu we just released, “… oven-roasted in ‘Casino Butter’, which is a mixture of unsalted butter, red & green peppers, parsley, anchovy, white wine & garlic.” I’ve been meaning to try them but haven’t yet. I think before I try yours, I’ll head over and grab a few out of the kitchen first to see if I’ll like them!

    BTW, your photography has gone up a few serious notches. More power to ya’, chicky! ;-)

  3. The Big Guy

    I can has snails now? Way cool.
    (Other than the obvious- Conch fritters, chowder, etc.)

    Archie McNally* once said: “I’m not sure of anything, except that you can’t put too much buttered garlic on escargot.”

    I’ll have to agree with that…

    TBG

    *Lawrence Sanders Palm Beach-based detective

  4. Kitt

    Oh my. oh my. Now I’m craving these at 10 a.m.

    I think you do need the shells, at least for presentation’s sake. It’s a psychological thing.

    The best snails I ever had were the little winkles that you extracted from the shell using a straight pin with a little knob of tinfoil on the end. Tiny tiny, but so flavorful. I don’t think they come in a can, though. Also memorable, a snail bigger than my fist, fished up somewhere around Dalian and served at a friend’s house in Beijing.

    I like snails.

  5. jan gilbert

    Jaden: That’s the only way to eat snails. Accompanied by warm French bread and a good bottle of burgundy. If you don’t like snails, stay away from my dining table on the six or eight times we dig them out of their shells and sop up the goody. Happy Easter.

  6. jan gilbert

    Jaden: That’s the only way to eat snails. Accompanied by warm French bread and a good bottle of burgundy. If you don’t like snails, stay away from my dining table on the six or eight times we dig them out of their shells and sop up the goody. Happy Easter. That’s 6 or 8 times per year.

  7. amyjo smith

    hmmm…
    i’m still a chicken, all i ever eat when they bring them to the table (for my dad and sisters) is the soppy buttery goodness on my tough crusted chewy bread :D

  8. Amy

    Ooh what a cute dish, I didn’t even know they made escargot dishes. :D Snails were my favorite food in China. My uncle would stir fry them and I would eagerly sit at the table with a needle to pull the little meats out. Ah the memories…

    I love your series of photos and how you came to pick the money shot – it’s super helpful for noobs like me. (P.S. how do you do that fancy transparent title thingie on top?)

  9. Grifola frondosa

    Although I’ve tried escargot, I found them to be more of a texture than a taste.
    Hell, anything tastes good with garlic and butter.

    In an Italian market here in the Northeast you can get the real deal – live snails in their shell.

    I prefer conch,winkles, scungilli or other sea dwelling snails. Tasty and clean tasting with garlic and olive oil marinade with some fresh lemon.

  10. joanne

    I’ve never eaten them this way. I used to see long plastic tubes filled with shells, and at the bottom of the tube a can of snails. This was at Delucca’s. Haven’t looked at those shells in a while. Growing up I ate them stir fried with black bean sauce. They never smelled good, but did taste yummy. This was when I was a child, and my brother used to switch chores with me, so he wouldn’t have to wash the snail dishes. Before we were married, hubby and I had dinner with my folks and as a special treat someone gave my dad a container full of snails. Poor hubby tried to eat it, but he couldn’t get past the texture. He said it was slimy, squishy, and crunchy at the same time. My mom felt bad for him, as he turned an nasty green color. He says the French version is easier to eat.

  11. Kalyn

    In college (*Many* years ago) I worked in a French restaurant and they served escargot just like this. Only difference, their shells weren’t quite as nice as yours. Love it, yum!

  12. Carol Herman

    You know what? Seeing this, I think you can ELIMINATE the snails. Using the shells, however, STUFFED WITH GARLIC BUTTER! Lemon. And, sprinkling on parsley. Who would know? Snails “chew” like rubber bands.

    Lots of bread to sop up the butter!

  13. Dr. Biggles

    Hay,

    Happy Sunday! Was able to spend some time with 12 year old and we burned up trails on bikes. I recently bought him a hybrid and my mountain bike has been demoted to a road bike. This means he spent hours laughing at me attempting dirt & trails with a sore butt and else others. OUCH. All through, I have great looking legs.

    In any case, thank you for your process on the chosen shots. I figure if I get 1 out of 12 or 24 I’m going GREAT. It’s nice to see I’m not the only one that sifts through dozens.

    xo, Biggles

  14. Jeremy

    Ok,
    that is nice Jaden, but we used to make a parsley, garlic butter with roasted hazelnuts that was broiled on top of some garlic sauted snails sitting on top of smooth mashed potatoes that lay on a roasted shitake mushroom! Will have to share that recipe with you, my old chef used to say it was an aphrodisiac, imagine those cheeky French guy’s!

  15. Donna

    Any recommendations on pulling this off without the shells? While I would probably eat them with their little shells in tact, I don’t think I’ll be able to sneak this under the radar if hubby knows he’s eating snail.

  16. SteamyKitchen

    haha! that’s funny. Get some puff pastry, cut little squares, lay ‘em in mini muffin tin, fill with the snaily-butter mixture. bake! or you could get the frozen mini filo tart shells – those would prob be easier – and then top with a nice breadcrumb/butter mixture. ooooh – and then put a little lump of cheese on top of each!

  17. warren

    This would be so much better without the snails. In my experience, canned snails have the consistence of gritty rubber bands. Maybe someday I’ll get a chance to try fresh snails.

    For LunaPierCook — “Reese” is a subsidiary of World Finer Foods (along with Kavli and Ryvita — who knew.) “Reese’s” is a Hershey’s trademark.

  18. GANDAMORA PASCAL D SIREGAR

    To-day is the best Eastern second day you know why? Because i finally found this ricioe of Escargat with garlic butter and a splash of Cognac . I love Escargat, Garlic and Cognac. Many years ago i often went to Brussel from Amsterdam just for sight seeing and eating several kinds orf escargotfrom the Noorth Sea. Very, very nice. People from around the world have to try it in the center of the city of Brussel, Belgium. An old lady sell it, but i do not know now adays if she still selling her escargots on the street. Never mind i can make my own escargot now. Thank you Steamykitchen
    Greetings from the Netherlands,
    Gandamora P.D. SIREGAR

  19. LunaPierCook

    Warren, thanks! I was hoping never to see and ad which said, “You got helix snails in my chocolate!”

  20. The Culinary Sherpa #2

    I fell in love with escargot in New Orleans at Irene’s pre-Katrina. It was heavenly. I then made (made, I tell you!) Culinary Sherpa #1 make these yummy little creatures. He choose a simplistic French technique (a lot like your’s only add some white wine and shallots and sautee for about 30-45 minutes to relax the chewy-ness) and then served each on a plump sauteed crimini mushroom.
    Droooooooooooooling. Mop the sauce with a crusty baguette and you have crustacean heaven.
    A lot of people don’t realize just how inexpensive it is to make escargot.

  21. didally

    I’ve had escargots only once. But I remembered that they tasted good. I might just go hunt for some.

  22. Christine

    I read this post and off to the store I went in search of snails! I wanted to make this dish for company this week. Unfortunately the store did not have snails and I am going to have to head North and search there. I didn’t realize that escargot was so easy to make!

  23. dhanes

    Hey Jaden-

    After my snail plate broke, I got out some foil and made a makeshift plate with it. Make a normal plate shape first with some foil (enough to be able to hold the shells without bending and spilling the lot) and press up the side all the way around to make a lip about 1/2″ tall. Then take more foil and bunch it up inside the lip on top of the plate. Place the empty shells into place to make the holders!

  24. Rebecca

    I love snails-I once had them baked in Roquefort and garlic butter, ohhhhh, they were sooo good! I’ve never made them, though-hm!

  25. Helen

    Ahhh… Escargot make me think of some of my favorite things… garlic, butter, good bread and the movie Delicatessen. heh. (Post-apocalyptic foodie dystopia.)

    I think Scott definitely has a point.

    I also wonder whether, if you can manage to find fresh snails and you cook them yourself, there’s a trick to making them less tough. I mean, I guess there must be, because I’ve definitely had them in varying degrees of rubbery-ness.

  26. dhanes

    @Helen:

    I’ve poached them in red wine with herbs for about 30 minutes, really softened them up.

  27. dhanes

    @Helen: Canned…I haven’t found any fresh Helix in Florida :)… Poach them then follow Jaden’s recipe.

  28. Tia

    That looks great, Jaden! I usually buy the little apple snails from Asian markets and cook it with lemongrass, but this looks good too! I had no idea that French restaurants use canned snails! Thanks for the tips–will try soon. ;)

  29. michelle @ the smackdown

    on one hand, they look really good. on the other hand, there are many vehicles for butter, garlic and cognac i would choose over escargot. but if i ever do decide to make it, i’m totally using this recipe!

  30. Food Rockz Man

    Thanks for sharing the progression of photos from your shoot. As a ever-learning novice food photographer, it’s always interesting for me to see the lead-up to the money shot . . . to see how other photographers’ minds work!

  31. Zenchef

    Oh i grew up of those! Love it, love it love it and i like the addition of cognac in your version. When i used to live in Paris there was an old restaurant in my street called well… L’escargot. And they were served in a myriad of ways… au curry de Madras, au beurre de roquefort, even with truffle and foie gras!

    I’m drooling as i’m writing this! :-)

  32. Tartelette

    You bring back some really fond memoriess of going hunting for snails after the rain with my grandfather. He had his cane and would “dig” them out, we would crate them and starve them for a couple of days, you know, to clean them, and then my grandmother would make her parsley and garlic butter and cook them. What a treat!! Years later we tried but due to global warming and other environment crap, there were zippo snails to be found. The picture is fantastic!

  33. Bob Hamblin

    Does anyone know where I can find packaged escargot garlic butter mix? There uses to a package that came in the kit that contained a can of snails, shells and the mix in a gold colored packet.

  34. Denise

    Oh, I love them! I usually only eat when we go to France. Wonderful memories of juicy little guys bursting in my mouth, are coming to mind. With the dollar tanking, I do not foresee a trip to France soon, so this may be my meal ticket there. Oh thank you, Steamy!

  35. Stacey

    I have a son with a severe shellfish/mollusk/gastropod allergy. Rather than kill him, we’re making Fauxcargots (using Portobello mushrooms). We’ll see how that turns out.

  36. tastyeatsathome

    I had no idea that escargot was this easy. My husband and I love to eat this, but it’s a rare occasion that there is a French restaurant around the corner worth visiting. I know that Cost Plus World Market sells the shells and canned escargot, I will definitely have to grab some the next time I am there. This is totally going to be one of my “easy way to wow the guests” dishes! Any ideas on where to find the little tool that holds the shells? I have a seafood fork (whatever you call that) and so that’ll work for digging the yummy snails out. Thanks!

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