Escargots has to be one of the most quintessential French dishes, and what’s not to like? Snails bathing in a golden, buttery garlic sauce is among the French recipes bound to delight people from any country.
Normally the snails are prepared and then stuffed back into their shells before serving. This seems like an extra, painstaking step, not to mention the difficulty that can occur when your guests try to remove the mollusks from their shells. Shells can fly, garlic butter can launch and all can be lost.
I like serving escargots in a mushroom cap like the Marais neighborhood bistro Café des Musées does. It’s a perfect size, making for easy preparation and easy eating. The mushroom also lovingly holds the garlic butter, and its flavor is a perfect companion to the other ingredients.
Escargot stuffed mushrooms are an easy first course or appetizer, served with a crusty French baguette to scoop up all the remaining garlic sauce.
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
dash of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste
12 large white button mushrooms
1 can of 12 escargot, rinsed and drained
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a food processor, finely chop the garlic, shallots, celery and parsley.
3. Gradually add the 8 tablespoons of butter until all ingredients have come together to form a paste.
4. Add the lemon juice and hot sauce and blend until incorporated.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. When all ingredients are blended, remove mixture and place on plastic wrap and form a long cylinder, about the diameter of a quarter. Wrap and place in refrigerator about 30–60 minutes, until set.
7. Clean the outside of the mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems and clean inside.
8. Melt 2 tablespoons of the herbed butter in a pan and toss in the mushrooms, coating all sides.
9. Place the mushrooms stem side up on a greased baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and then roast for an additional 5 minutes until tender.
10. Spray a baking dish or pan at least 1-inch deep with nonstick oil and place the mushroom caps inside. Slice the remaining butter into 12 disks and place a disk in each mushroom, and then top with an escargot. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until warm and bubbly.
11. Remove from the oven and pour any runoff juice on top, and serve with a crusty French bread.
Editor’s note: If you are a foodie heading to Paris, why not download one of our three gourmet walking trips or our package of foodie walks for the iPhone?