Reviews Tips & Techniques Wine 101 Articles Interviews Email Us About Us

Tips and Techniques

Boning Chicken Breasts
Healthy Bread Crumbs
All About Knives
Escargot On A Budget
Escargot On A Budget

Let’s start by saying that I love escargot with the principle ingredient being snails

Let’s start by saying that I love escargot - the principle ingredient being snails. I order it in restaurants every chance I get and have had it in many different types of restaurants from New York to Los Angeles to Paris. Some are just butter and garlic, others add mushrooms and cream. Some are presented in a ramekin while others are in the shell. The typical cost for this delicious delicacy ranges from $8 to $12. FYI, it was similarly priced in Paris (currency adjusted) for 6 lovely snails enveloped in that buttery garlic fusion.


Then one day while I was in my local supermarket looking for canned tuna fish, I noticed a can of snails at a price of about $3. I immediately thought that good restaurants never use canned snails for their escargot preparations – WRONG! After doing a little investigation, I found that it is fairly common to use canned snails. In fact, you can actually buy the shells and stuff them yourself. When I ordered the dish in Paris, it mainly came without the shells in a dimpled dish that holds the snails surrounded by the garlicky butter sauce.


Well I made the dish one evening. I went through a great deal of effort – I drained the can, put it in a baking dish, added butter, chopped garlic and a squeeze of lemon and baked it at 425° for 20 minutes. If I really wanted to spend an extraordinary amount of time I could have used clarified butter. Did I mention that I had about 18 snails (triple the restaurant portion) in the same garlicky butter for about $3 (one third the price)?  I also used the 20 minutes of baking to open and begin drinking a nice Chardonnay. Guess that culinary training paid off on this one!