Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Escargot in a Garlicky-Butter-Wine Sauce (makes 3 - 4 appetizers)

Recently I visited Amy, an old friend living in Eliot, Maine. Her husband goes out on a boat to sea about 6 days per week for lobsters. Some days he pulls up some snails in the traps. This time he brought home 30 snails, about 2-3 inches long) for me. These Downeast whelks (deep ocean snails) are much larger than the periwinkles found on the rocks along the Northeast coast. Initially they look a bit frightful due to their large size but once you put them in your mouth you only remember how tasty they truly are! Thank you Amy & Ryan!!

Maine ocean snails
Kate is Amy's daughter
holding up snails
(Maine 2015)
family barn and lobster traps
(Eliot, ME 2015)
Escargot in a Garlicky-Butter-Wine Sauce (makes 3-4 appetizers)


3 Tbsp unsalted butter
About 3 Tbsp olive oil
About 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
About 2 Tbsp chopped onion 
About 2 Tbsp chopped tomato
12 cooked ocean snails, shells removed*
About 2 Tbsp chopped Chinese chives
4 oz white wine
Season with a few drizzle of fish sauce and a pinch of sugar to taste


1) Heat a pan over high heat. Add butter and oil once the pan is hot.
2) Add garlic and onion, saute until they onion is soft.
3) Add tomato, snails, chives and wine. Cook about 2 minutes or until the snails are heated through.
4) Season with fish sauce and sugar to taste.

*To cook the snails, boil some water in a pot. Drop the live snails in boiling water and let them boil for about 6 to 7 minutes or until cooked. You may test if a snail is cooked through by taking one and trying to remove it from the shell. If it comes out easily then it is done. You may use 2-3 toothpicks or a skewer and spear into the head of the snail. Slowly pull each snail out of its shell. Rinse the snail to clean further.

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