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Christophe Grandsire wrote:

>En réponse à Barry Garcia <[log in to unmask]>:
>>
>> All this talk of escargots is making me brave to try them :).
>
>Next step will be frog legs won't it? :)
>
They're nice, too.  As a child, I had a multitude of pet frogs and toads, so
wouldn't touch frog legs-- until I went to Indonesia 1971 and had them deep
fried Chinese style.

>Well, if you find that disgusting, you're gonna have trouble preparing them
(if
>you hunt them yourself. If you buy them prepared you won't have that
trouble :)
>). The first step of the cleaning is indeed what we call "dégorgeage", and
>consists in putting all the snails in a big bucket, add water and lots of
salt,
>and let it do for one hour (or two, I never remember. I know that some
people
>repeat this step twice or three times, but I don't know if it's really
>necessary), before cleaning them with water.

SOMEWHERE (not Julia Child, apologies) I've read that wild snails should be
kept first in a box or container with corn meal for several days-- that
apparently purges their systems of anything nasty they might have eaten
(??).  But it's much easier to just buy them canned at a specialty store.

> Hmm......i may have to find out how to properly
>> prepare them and try them (they couldnt have too much of a different
>> texture from things like clams).


A little more resistant to the bite; if overcooked, you might as well be
eating a rubber eraser.

>Well, after what I explained, you have to get them out of their shell to
get rid
>of their dirt and their intestines (not a very nice job, but easy to do if
you
>did the first step correctly. It should go with ease), and clean them under
>water. After that it's not difficult: keep them in a pot (snails are easy
to
>keep. They can also be frozen without a problem, but they are better when
you
>cook them if you freeze them with the "beurre d'escargots") and clean the
shells
>if you want to use them. Personnally I prefer eating escargots in a special
dish
>rather than in the shells, but that's personal preference and I guess
>escargots-dishes are not easy to find in America :) . As for the famous
"beurre
>d'escargots", I don't know exactly how to prepare it (i.e. I don't know the
>amounts you need). It's basic ingredients are butter, garlic, and persil
(what
>is the English word?). Garlic and persil must be chopped finely and mixed
by
>hand with the butter. Maybe add a little salt but it's usually not
necessary. I
>cannot think of any other herb you would need but I guess everyone has
their own
>recipe with their own favorite herbs in it :) . If you use the shells, put
back
>the snails in their shells, add a generous amount of "beurre d'escargots"
(a
>nutsize usually) to close completely the shell. Place all the shells in a
plate
>for the oven, and put it in the hot oven until the butter is melted. If you
use
>special escargot dishes, they should go into the oven without a problem,
and
>then put the "beurre" directly on the snails (same quantity). They're
ready! Eat
>them as soon as they get out of the oven, escargots get cold quite fast
when
>they are simply in their shell.

That's about it. Julia Child's recipe calls for:
    1/2 cup butter
    1 Tb. minced shallots or green onions
    1-3 cloves [or more!] mashed galic
    2 Tb. minced parsley
    (Salt and pepper)
She says you should twist the shallots in the corner of a towel, to extract
their juice-- but she's a big fan of twisting things in towels.  AFAIC it
just wrecks a towel.  The butter is also recommended for broiled meats and
fish, for basting baked/broiled fish or mushrooms; for broiled mussels,
clams, or oysters.

Snail variation:  if you don't want to stuff them back into the shells, put
them in mushroom caps; very nice.

 Have lots of good French bread handy, to sop up any extra butter!  Then
spend a few days at the gym working it all off.