Celebrating the Escargot

Escargot elegance.
Long considered gourmet delicacy.
Escargot meaning snail in French, and hence the romance. Formal service requires the classic escargot plate and tongs Usually simply prepared with garlic butter, though can be infused with herbs and served in puff pastry. Traditionally an appetizer, or conjure escargot as amuse bouche for very special occasion.
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Classic Escargots a la Bourguignonne
1 7-ounce can snails, rinsed
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon minced shallot
Preheat oven to 400°F. Purée butter, garlic, parsley, and shallot in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Divide half the garlic butter among sterilized snail shells. Stuff with snails and remaining garlic butter. Bake 10 minutes.
Escargots in Herbed Cream
4 frozen puff pastry shells, thawed
Two 7-ounce cans large snails
(about 3 dozen), rinsed
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, minced
1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup minced cilantro
1/4 cup minced chives
2 tablespoons minced tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°. Set the pastry shells on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until puffed and browned. Cut out the scored tops and reserve. Scoop out any unbaked dough and bake the shells for
10 minutes longer. Transfer to a rack and let cool. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the shallots and cook over low heat until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley, cilantro, chives and tarragon, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the snails and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the cream and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the snails and their sauce into the puff pastry shells, top with the lids and serve.
Escargot Vol au Vent
12 helix snails, without shells
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons dry white wine
12 mushroom caps
12 puff pastry shells
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Drain escargots; rinse in cold water and drain again. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, garlic, green onion, parsley, pepper, nutmeg and wine. Mix thoroughly. Place 1 teaspoon of butter mixture into each pastry shell. Top each with 1 escargot, cover with another teaspoon of butter mixture and place mushroom cap on top. Arrange pastry shells on a 10×15 inch baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
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