Helices

2007.Aug.10 Friday · 0 comments

in Books & Other Media, Food & Recipes

“It’s hard to say how far they walked. They were in the forest for nine months, eating snails and leaves and whatever they could get.”

– David Brandon

Snail MeatBuenos Aires – I’ve just finished reading through the famed The Whole Beast: nose to tail eating by Fergus Henderson, a fun little recipe book for the use of various variety meats, offbeat meats, and other such things that tend to be “forgotten or discarded” as he puts it in his introduction – not a particularly exciting read, but some great sounding recipes. It seemed as appropriate a moment as any to pull the snail meat out of the freezer…. It’s really pretty simple, I was in Barrio Chino a month or so ago and there was fresh snail meat all packaged up and ready to be taken home. We’re not talking petite little garden snails, we’re talking things the size of a conch – well, really, they’re probably pretty close to the same thing, at least close relatives. After looking at the meat for a day in the refrigerator, I simply moved it up into the freezer figuring I’d get to it one day or another. Now, these type of snails are not the type you just cook in the oven with butter and parsley and brandy… well, maybe you could, I don’t know. Snail SauteBut I did a bit of looking around for recipes and came up with something that sounded interesting from a Colombian recipe – sauteed in coconut oil with various vegetables. I decided to play with that a bit, and toasted some flaked coconut and then infused it for 24 hours into some corn oil, then sauteed some crushed garlic, thinly sliced onions and red bell pepper in the oil, added some fresh corn and cooked until soft, then added thinly sliced snail meat that I’d blanched for 3-4 minutes in water with some red wine vinegar in it – a recommended procedure by several sites to remove any… hmmm… slime? A splash of gold rum and a splash of lemon juice, continuing cooking to evaporate – no more than a minute or so total because you don’t want the snail meat to get rubbery – then a little salt and pimentón amarillo to finish it off. The snail, just slightly firm, but not at all chewy, the flavors bright and delicious, and now I have at least one recipe for large snails that works…

 

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