A perfectly simple summer recipe for cooking your snails over a campfire or grill. The pine branches add a wonderful herbaceous smokiness to the savory escargot.
1 dozen Peconic Escargot - In Shell
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
4 Whole Cloves of Garlic
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 Handful Fresh Herbs**
Toothpicks - for pickin snails, duh
**The herbs can be whatever you have on hand. I used rosemary, sage, and lemon balm. Other excellent options include thyme, parsley, or oregano. Even mint and cilantro would be very cool. Seriously, whatever is fresh and nearby - don't stress.
This recipe is as easy as it gets. Be sure to have a drink nearby and relax. The whole thing can be prepared on your patio table.
1. Lay out two sheets of heavy duty foil.
2. Smash the cloves of garlic.
3. Tear the herbs - big pieces, no need to chop them.
4. Season the escargot with the salt. Sprinkle a little bit on the meat inside to make sure it's well seasoned.
5. With a spoon, scrape the butter into the opening of the escargot shells. If there's extra, throw it in the packet, it'll become a sauce later.
6. Take all of these things - escargot w/butter, herbs, and garlic - and place it all into the center of the foil.
7. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over all the goodies.
8. Close the foil packet, and poke a couple holes in the top with a skewer or knife - these will allow the smoke to enter the packet.
9. Find a few boughs of pine - spruce and white pine are good options, even cedar works well. This step, although fun, isn't a necessity and you can skip it if you want.
10. Place the pine boughs over a cooler section of the grill - you don't want it to be so hot they catch fire, you just need them to smoke. Place the foil packet on top of the boughs, and add some more on top - like a bough and foil packet sandwich.
11. Allow this to cook 10-15 minutes over the grill. The boughs will smoke and season the snails, and everything in the foil packet will melt and bubble and steam and become a delicious concoction.
12. Once done, carefully pull the packet from the ashes (like a phoenix) and allow it to sit for a minute or two to cool.
13. Open the packet and be amazed at the magical medley you have created. Squeeze a little extra lemon juice over them if you want. If you don't want, that's ok too - this is your show.
14. Grab a snail in your left hand and a toothpick in your right. Stab the toothpick into the meat of the snail and pull gently while simultaneously twisting in the direction the spiral (counterclockwise). The snail should easily release from the shell. It's ok if you mess it up, it will still taste amazing.
15. Take your speared snail and dip it into the smoky herby garlicky butter sauce that has formed in the bottom of the foil packet. Maybe stab some herbs on there too, maybe a garlic clove, maybe not - it's up to you. Pop it in your mouth and bask in your culinary glory.