Grape snail: cooking recipe. Snail Food
Snails, which are eaten, can be terrestrial, freshwater or marine. By some estimates, today there are 116 edible species.
There are two main types of edible snails: Achatina and European spiral (grape). The latter are more popular. What breeds are currently used? Today, the most common types of snails are found.
The breed Helix aspersa is called petit-gris in French (which means "little gray"). This is a very small snail that can live up to 4-5 years, but can be collected when it is between 7 and 8 months old. Twice a year, she can lay from 50 to 75 eggs. Her meat has a mild flavor. This breed was bred in America in 1854 by French immigrants.
One of the best snail breeds is considered to be Burgundy - Très Gros or escargot de Bourgogne (also known as Roman Snail or Helix Pomatia). These individuals do not begin to reproduce until they reach the age of 3 to 4 years,and the size of a snail of this species is about 4 cm. These snails are fed with leaves of grapes. Their shell is hard, variegated yellowish-brown hue, and the meat has a rich taste. Despite their traditional connection with Burgundy, 95% of these snails now come from Eastern Europe, Russia and Poland.
At present, the French import from Indonesia Indonesian snail species that grow to sizes 20-25 cm. Many of the "French" canned snails exported to other countries belong to this species. The French also import snails from Greece, Turkey and even Nigeria.
Snails have a taste of what they ate. If they are fed too much cabbage or garlic, they will smell like that. Before cooking, their digestive tracts must be cleaned. Some do this without feeding them for two weeks, others feed them with cornmeal for several days and then do not give them any food for another 2-3 days. Then you can cook your favorite grape snail dish. This recipe can be used any.
Even the ancient Romans ate snails. They gathered them in the vineyards, then used wine and bran or milk to fatten them. As a result, the mollusks became so fat that they could not fit in the shells.
The recipe for cooking snails and their serving was simple. Everything happened right at the table. Oil was poured into the hole in the stone table and set on fire, and a pot with snails in boiling water was put on top. The participants of the meal served themselves.
The Romans even had a spoon, which they named after the cochlear snails: it had a pointed end, which allowed them to pull out the finished snails from the shells. This was useful in that era, since forks were not yet invented at that time.
Grape snails: the benefits and harm
Today, this delicacy is loved by many. Snail meat is healthy, nutritious and tasty. It contains 10% protein, vitamins B6, B12, iron, calcium and magnesium. In addition, they contain low levels of both carbohydrates and fats, and, according to some, help to fight depression.
Snails are also beneficial because they can help in maintaining weight and even losing weight.A 100 gram portion of mollusk contains only 90 calories. This serving provides you with 16 grams of protein, which is a valuable nutrient. Snails may be suitable for low-carb diets, as they contain only 2 grams per serving.
However, you better limit your intake of this meat if you are on a low cholesterol diet, because a 100-gram serving contains 50 milligrams of this substance.
Snail diet and its influence
Depending on where you bought the mollusks, you need to decide - keep them on a special diet of grape leaves, do not feed them or use them immediately. The benefits and harm of snails directly depends on what they ate.
Of course, collected wild individuals are considered delicacies, but, unfortunately, their diet in nature is not one that is consistent with the human digestive system. If you bought a fresh catch, and not an artificially batch, ask the seller when they were collected. This will give you an idea of when they ate last.
Snails that were collected a week or more ago are usually safe.Otherwise, you really have to keep them without food for up to seven to ten days. As an alternative, you can feed them with something that is not harmful for humans to “push” toxic old food out of their bodies. For this purpose, fit pieces of lettuce, apples, flour or bran or grape leaves. Your goal is to eliminate from them all traces of their natural diet, before you prepare dishes from grape snails.
After sufficient time, place the snails in a container of cold water with a small amount of salt and vinegar. So their waste will be separated, after which you will be able to continue your preparation activities.
How to prepare them for cooking?
Regardless of the recipe of cooking snails and its complexity, they need to be cleaned and cooked before cooking. Here's how to do it.
What you need:
- Large pan.
- Sharp knife.
- 50 snails.
What do we have to do?
Use a sharp knife to remove the membrane covering the hole in the shell. Put the snails in a large pot and fill it with plenty of fresh water.Remove those that pop up.
Take two or three snails in your hands at a time and rub them with your fingers. Put aside peeled and process all. Then drain the water, fill the pot with fresh clean water and repeat the process. After that, you should wash the snails well, and then use them in your favorite recipe.
How are they cooked?
Cooking snails at home can be different. You can fry them for 5 minutes or cook on low heat for 1-3 hours. Meat sometimes resembles mushrooms in consistency, so some unintelligible eaters may confuse these products.
On our table this clam is a rare guest, but dishes from it are always unusual and elegant. Snail shells decorate the table, and thanks to the French or Italian sauce this dish becomes a real delicacy.
How to eat snails?
In fact, there are many ways to cook and serve snails. The most traditional and proven - with green garlic oil. They can be served both in the sink, and without it - this is done at the discretion of the cook. But in order to preserve the taste of food and emphasize refinement, it is better to offer this clam in its natural "packaging".
Snails in the restaurant are offered with special tools - tongs and a fork. Their use is very convenient: you just hold the shell and remove the meat from it. Do not forget to protect your clothes with a napkin - the flesh of the mollusk is very juicy.
There is no single rule regarding what kind of drink should be served with snails. It is assumed that this may be wine. Ideally, it should be from the same grape variety, the leaves of which were fed snails. However, in practice it is difficult to implement.
How to cook snails: first option
The most interesting taste of this meat is obtained in combination with spices. There is an Italian original recipe for cooking snails. This dish will require the following ingredients:
- shallot (1 pc.);
- 100 grams of Parma ham;
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil;
- 36 boiled snails without armor;
- 1 tablespoon flour;
- 5 spoons of tea brandy;
- 2 tablespoons sour cream;
- egg yolk;
- some lemon juice;
- salt and white pepper to taste;
- packing puff pastry (4 layers);
- 2 feather green onions.
How to cook snails in the Italian style? First of all, chop the shallots and ham. Fry the onions in the butter until golden brown in a deep frying pan, then place the ham against it.
Drain the cleaned snails in a colander, strain them and add to the mixture. Mix well and lightly sprinkle with flour, pour in brandy and add sour cream. Heat over low heat and blend until the mixture is a uniform thick sauce. Remove the container from the heat, add lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Now you have to make puff pastry tartlets. Cut circles of 5 cm in diameter from it. Form the edges of the dough residues and attach them to the cut out blanks, then spread the whole with egg yolk.
Preheat the oven, fill tartlets evenly with the mass obtained in the previous step and decorate with green onions. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven at 220aboutFROM.
Option Two: French Version
The most widely known French dishes made from grape snails. The most popular is the combination of clam meat and garlic oil. For this classic recipe you will need the following:
- 12 boiled snails with shells (separately);
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oils;
- 3 onions;
- 1 clove of garlic;
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley;
- 1 teaspoon grated parmesan;
- 1 teaspoon chopped almonds;
- freshly ground white pepper.
How to do it?
Making grape snails at home in the French manner is very simple. Rinse them in hot water, place on a towel and let dry completely. Finely chop three shallots. Fry it with chopped garlic and chopped parsley, season with salt and white pepper to taste.
Grate the parmesan on a fine grater, finely chop the almond kernels, mix the cheese and nuts. Pour about 0.5 teaspoons of broth into each sink, then put a snail and a little oil with herbs, filling it to the brim. Dip each shell with its open end into a mixture of parmesan and almond, then put them in a baking dish. Place the shells so that the melted butter does not leak out when baking.
Preheat the oven to 250 ºc, bake the snails in the oven until the oil begins to boil (about 3 minutes). Baked grape snails are best served on the table directly from the oven.
Option Three: Spicy Appetizer
You can cook snails in the form of an original spicy snack. You will need the following products:
- 1 kg of snail meat;
- 1 onion, diced;
- 1 leek, chopped;
- 1/2 cup olive oil;
- 0.7 kg of cherry tomatoes, lightly fried;
- 7-8 cloves of garlic, fried together with tomatoes;
- 3 bay leaves;
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary;
- 1/3 cup dry white wine;
- 1 glass of water;
- salt and pepper for taste;
- a little balsamic vinegar.
Boil butter in a large frying pan, add the onion, leek, bay leaf and rosemary, and then reduce the heat to medium and fry for 5-10 minutes.
Then put the snail meat, roasted tomatoes and garlic, wine and water, bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. At the end of the cooking, pour in balsamic vinegar to balance the sweetness of the onions and the roasted cherry tomatoes.
Serve in portion bowls with crispy fresh bread and salad.
Option Four: with grape leaves
Another interesting recipe for cooking snails - in a clay pot with grape leaves. Ingredients need the following:
- 1 kg of snail meat;
- 200 grams of dill;
- 100 grams of rice;
- 50 ml of milk;
- Bay leaf;
- black pepper;
- grape leaves.
Boil salted water with bay leaves and a few black peppercorns in a large saucepan. Put the pre-treated meat snails, cook for 1 hour.
Then chop them and fry them in a pan in the oil. Then transfer to another container, and in the pan, put boiled rice, seasoned with black and red pepper and chopped dill. After that, add the clams to the rice, mix and wrap the mixture in the leaves of the grapes. Put them in a ceramic pot, fill with a mixture of water and milk in equal proportions. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve hot with a garnish of fresh vegetables and greens.