Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Snail-less-cargo – April Fools?

In case you’re wondering if I thought of the name first, and then developed the recipe, I think we both know the answer to that question. That said, I really thought I could pull it off.

The old cliché when it comes escargot is that it’s really just an excuse to eat garlic butter, and that the snail is just some sort of flavorless delivery system. Turns out that’s not the case. This suffered from a lack of meaty earthiness the escargot provides.

Like I said in video, if I make this again, I will caramelize the mushrooms in a pan, which I’m sure would help.  Or, maybe I’ll just use snails. Speaking of which, feel free to use this exact technique with actual escargot, as everything other than the mushroom was spot on. You can find those online, along with the other special items you’ll need, such as the shells, the pan, the tongs, and the forks.

So, whether you use mushrooms or snails, and please don’t use mushrooms, I really hope you give this classic French appetizer a try soon. No joke. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 40 shells:
20 large brown mushrooms, halved
3 cups water
few pieces of nori seaweed
1 teaspoon miso
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt to taste
40 extra-large escargot shells

For the butter:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4-6 cloves finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 cup chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 or 2 teaspoons Pernod

- Bake at 450 F. for 10-12 minutes


Aaron Arnold said...

Hey Chef John! Quite a bizarre recipe today. I was wondering if you could use real snails for this? I've never had escargot, but I think it would be interesting.

Lisa from Indiana said...

This was too funny! And a brilliant insight into the mind of a chef trying something new! And I can think of lots of uses for that seasoned butter mash, which I'm sure I will...enjoy!

green tea said...

Looks interesting! Regarding your self-deprecation about cooking mushrooms in the seaweed Miso soup, my humble suggestion would be - how about frying mushrooms with olive oil and give drizzles of fish oil or fish sauce at the end? It's a Thai seasoning, I guess..., as fish oil is not only very salty but also very very fishy....just like escargo :-)

By the way, I am so concerned about what you did with the Miso soup after cooking the mushroom. I am Japanese and throwing away post-mushroom Miso soup is illigal in my country :-))

Daniel Bottoms said...

Chef John,

This is still a nifty idea. I gotta wonder if sauteeing the shrooms first then hitting it with soy sauce and miso, etc. to glaze wouldn't help to make them more palatable (salty)? Still with all the peeps converting to bad hunting eating :D could be a cool idea!

Basil said...

Dear Chef John,

This was the only first of April video that I came across that truly truly made me laugh at the end.

Thank you kindly.

P.S. Also missing out on the intro made me just raise my eyebrows more and more till the end.

Kathryn Dudley said...

I like the term "moon snails"! These look amazing, sorry you're disappointed. Maybe an earthier mushroom? My hesitation in trying this is all the special equipment. Thanks for showing this, Chef!

Jim Spatz said...

Very entertaining John!

Mark LeFond said...

Chef John,

I'm allegic to mushrooms. Can I substitute them for snails in this recipe?

Lee Gaskins said...

First time poster.

Chef John, I really admire that you are not afraid to showcase the rare failure or taking a risk that you know will not be perfect. Unlike the Food network (which is turning into the food game show network), where everything has to be slick, polished, and perfect.

BRAVO! Very funny too. Thanks for making me laugh, and anticipate every new recipe you produce. All the best!

Pyrofish said...

I snickered at least 4 times during this video, but if I watch it again, which I won't, I'll add salt to my eyes.

Years ago, in Malta, during their festival, we had huge amounts of garlic wine snails. They cooked them several times to remove the sand, and the shell, and finished in a garlic butter wine sauce. Then served them up on the street in those styrofoam hamburger clamshell packaging for $5... that was pretty awesome!

Jim said...

Chef John-

Except for the water, everything in your mushroom/broth combination is a rich source of MSG (monosodium glutamate). Are you the reincarnation of a renowned chef from the '70s, or were you a renowned chef in the '70s? I have always loved umami.

Actually, if you called the broth soup and served it as a first course you could follow it with your renouned escargot.


Alan Hariton said...

I don't know. I think I actually love this idea. I think it could be tweaked. I know when I grill portobellos they are very meaty and a little umami-ish. Instead of grilling, cut them into snail size pieces and sauté to consistency.

I think this was an extremely creative move.

And as the others have said, extremely witty.

Keep it coming Chef John

Michele Cryan said...

Where did you find minced shallots?!! I've been looking for them everywhere. Are they anywhere near the whole shallots?

kinjun ranger said...

If the aren't there Michele, check behind the mushrooms in the seafood department.

Sander said...

salt should boost the mushroom up a bit but I think a little Trassi (Indonesian fermented shellfish(parts) could work to pick up flavour and add a fishy note... Dose like you would salt if fresh (a block) trassi is used or double if powdered is at hand.