Monday, May 27, 2013

Sautéed Escargot with Duck Fat (appetizer serves 1 or 2 people)


Irish moss on the lime wedges per
Sarah Redmond, Marine Extension Associate 
sauteed escargot with fat duck on mozzarella cheese and crackers
Today was a beautiful day, warm and sunny.  It was a nice change after a week of cold rainy days.  I have not harvested any periwinkles and sea vegetables this season and today I feel the need to go out to the coast to search for some.  I normally go out on low tide but today my husband and I just drove out to the ocean.  Luckily I was able to harvest a small bag of periwinkles and clipped a few types of sea vegetables.  I boiled the periwinkles in water with the larger seaweed for about 5 minutes.  My husband and I removed the periwinkles from their shells and I sautéed them in duck fat that I had saved from a previous meal.  My husband got the idea to combine the sautéed escargot and mozzarella cheese to the crackers.  They came out delicious!  Great idea Paul!!  I think you should cook with me more often!  :--)

Yesterday I attended the 2013 NH Fresh and Local Seafood Kickoff.  The purpose of the event was to spread the word to the public about underutilized  species such as redfish, soft-shell lobster, hake, pollock and dogfish.  I find that it is unfortunate that some people are not aware of the lesser-known fish and how tasty they really are.  Our ocean is depleting of the popular fish and so it is time for us (consumers) to experiment and try other catch.  Just think when the first Europeans arrived to America lobsters were eaten only by the poor people.  Due to popular demand today lobsters are one of the more expensive food items on the market.  Perhaps snails and the underutilized species listed above are the lobsters of yesteryear!

Ingredients:

Meat from 2 1/2 C of whole periwinkles
2-3 tsp duck fat
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
1 tsp chopped Irish moss (sea vegetable)
1/4 tsp fish sauce
A few pinches of cayenne pepper
A few pinches of sugar
1 wedge of lime

Method:

1) Cook the periwinkles in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain and let cool before removing the snails using a toothpick. Discard the shells and the thin tough flap. Keep the soft snail body.
2) Heat a small pan with fat over medium high heat.
3) Once the pan is hot add garlic and seaweed. Sauté for about 1 minute.  Avoid burning the garlic.
4) Add the snails and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
5) Add fish sauce, cayenne pepper, and sugar. Sauté for about 1 more minute.
6) Remove the contents and pour onto a plate. Drizzle with some lime juice right before serving.

periwinkles in the wild
*You can serve this dish with slices of toasted baguette, crostini or crackers.  The tiny mozzarella balls came in a container already mixed with olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and flat leaf parsley; bought at our local grocer (Market Basket).  My husband cut the balls in half and put them on crackers.  He heated them in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds.
*Harvest snails and sea vegetable in clean water, away from homes.  Avoid harvesting during red tides even though the snails are not filtering sea creatures.  Only harvest what you can eat.  Clip sea vegetables with scissors so they will continue to grow.

Vivian Mae
Captain Damon explains to a group of
seafood enthusiasts all about lobstering
*I met Captain Damon Frampton, lobsterman and founder of Portsmouth Lobster Company.  He has been fishing for 25 years.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge about the fishing industry and for a tour of your boat!!  Please support and buy from our local fishermen and lobstermen!  If you are interested in buying underutilized species please seek them out.  You can also contact Captains Damon Frampton or Mike Anderson from F/V Rimrack.

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