Do I need aspecial dish to cook escargots? Or can I just make them in a small glass baking dish?
I’ve never cooked them before myself, but I can’t believe you actually need a specialised (and so bloody expensive) dish for the job.
Well, there’s this one for $7. It’s called a ‘serving dish’, but since it says it’s oven-safe I assume that means you can cook the snails in it.
What the hell, is that for making escargot muffins? How exactly do you cook the bastards?
I’ve had them in a restaurant served in a little dish like that, but I always assumed that was just for presentation. I’ve only ever seen them cooked in a manner similar to mussels - tossing them in a pan with sweated onions and garlic, plus herbs, wine, tomatoes etc. But maybe there are other ways. I’d have thought they would go tough if they’re baked.
You seem to be right. The method I always use is this: Open the box of Trader Joe’s Escargots en Brioche. Put the brioches on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or so.
Only IMO there’s too much bread. I want to taste the snails. So I thought I might try making escargots ‘from scratch’.
Upon further investigation I found [url=“snail cooking”]this page*.
It goes on to say:
So they are simmered in Court Bullion, then packed with butter (recipe on the page) into shells, and then served in a special plate. (Escargots I’ve had at restaurants did not have the shells. The snails were in the little pockets in the dish, each sitting upon an inverted mushroom cap, swimming in garlic butter, and surmounted by a little puff pasty.)
That seems like a heck of a long cooking time - compared to something like mussels, which are done in a couple of minutes, and overcooked if done longer.
It does seem a long time. I guess the only thing is to try it out. (Incidentally, I have had them in the shell at a restaurant. I don’t remember where, but I remember the shell tongs and fork.)
I believe, traditional French Escargot Crockery does have an advantage because it is a terracotta medium and cooks quickly and cleanly in high temperature commercial ovens, as well as retaining heat. Other than that they are just convenient. However, the escargot plate that you have linked to seems more decorative and modern and akin to a deviled egg platter.
They were also good for restaurant use because whipped butter and garlic could be piped ar spooned quickly and in prep for a night. That restaurant, however, used canned, imported, fat snails without a shell (still quite good.). Just load them up like a six shooter with a snail and the butter, smear the face with a spatula of whipped garlic butter just like molding chocolate, scrape away the excess, cover with saran, put them in the fridge, cook to demand in a 475F oven for 10 minutes. Or if they’re room temp, use a salamander.
But to answer your question… by all means, use a glass (pyrex) baking dish, that’s even more ideal. If I were doing it with pyrex, I might superheat the baking dish for some time in a high oven, remove to a flame or flattop and toss in the olive oil, butter, garlic, a splash of white wine or sherry and cook quickly tapas style.
…and of course, toss in the snails
They also used their left over bread, ground to crumbs, as an ‘a la minute’ sprinkle for the canned, French, escargot in the crockery with garlic butter just before putting in the oven. I suppose it was actually escargot au gratin, in style…
That almost looks like a takoyaki pan. You could kill two birds…, uh, molluscs, with one stone.