This is the classic snail appetizer with garlic butter. There are more adventuresome sauces out there, and some of them are really delicious, but nothing beats having the snails sizzling in this fragrant butter, except perhaps having a loaf of hot French bread to dip into the sauce.
During my broadcast from Gallier Hall every Mardi Gras, Archbishop Amann visits with us for a few minutes. I always ask about the rules for Lenten eating, especially as it regards unusual foodstuffs as alligator, turtles soup, and snails. The Archbishop says that we are allowed to treat escargots as seafood, even when the snails live above ground. So now we know.
- 24 snails, from France
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 3 Tbs. freshly-chopped garlic
- 2 Tbs. freshly-chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 Tbs. Herbsaint or Pernod liqueur
- 1 tsp. lemon juice, strained
- A pinch of white pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
1. Take the snails out of the can and rinse off the liquid in which they were packed. Divide the snails among four small ovenproof dishes. (If you have those six-pocket snail dishes, put one snail in each pocket.)
2. Combine (at room temperature) all the other ingredients and mix well. Divide among the four baking dishes, right over the snails.
3. Put the dishes into the oven on the top shelf and bake for eight to ten minutes, until the sauce is bubbling. Also warm the French bread while this is going on.
Serve immediately with French bread and, if you like, a chilled Chablis.