Frozen Pre-Shelled Snails?
So. I got these frozen pre-shelled pre-cooked snails at an Asian market near me since I've tried and liked snails before and they were something I wouldn't be able to get elsewhere. However, they've been sitting in my freezer for awhile now. Being a generally adventurous eater, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit I've started to psych myself out about eating them. Has anyone ever purchased snails sold this way? Did you enjoy them?
I have not, personally, since part of the fun for me is trying to get those lil buggers out of their shell.... that said, I don't see why you wouldn't be able to thaw and toss in lots of melted, garlicky butter & achieve something similar to escargots, but without the picking.
Come on, Gastro -- DO it. You know you wanna.
And let us know about your results. If you live to tell the story '-)
I never purchased frozen snails like this. I've made "escargots" with canned snails with no shells, just drain and broil with garlic butter.
Howsabout a chinesy prep, maybe in black bean sauce?
They are 'slippery' and a bit chewy. I've eaten them many times but still prefer whelks.
There are several Vietnamese dishes using these snails. One I like is slowly cooked in coconut milk, lemongrass, lots of garlic and shallot and chilis. Another time in Macau I had them in a clay pot and that was very nice as well. The dipping sauce was a kind of shrimp paste called 'Balichão', a brilliant and essential ingredient in some south east Asian dishes.
This was in Changsha, China, with shell in tact. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tenhosau...
So, update - Since they were pre-cooked, I let the snails thaw slowly, rinsed them then left them until everything I wanted around them was cooked. I started with a mixture of butter and between and 1/2 and full cup of leftover blush wine, then added 2 minced cloves of elephant garlic and a cup and half cherry tomatoes sliced down the middle, plus salt and smoked paprika and a little Parmesan. Once that had created a nice sauce I added a bunch of fresh chopped spinach, only adding the rinsed snails to the pan once that had wilted, intending just to warm them. I took them off once warm - just a minute or so. Drizzle of olive oil. Voila!
The result? Really yummy broth and greens - tough as leather snails. :/ I was suspecious when they were already so tough just after thawing, but suspended my doubts until after I had tried warming them. I barely managed to rip my teeth through one and what I ate, as you might imagine, wasn't pleasant. Pretty disappointing, but I managed to save the meal pulling out the little bullets and swapping in canned white beans instead. Now I know better than to try these particular snails again!
Simmer in teriyaki for 30-45 minutes, add some chili flakes if you like spicy. Cook them until they get a rubber band texture, they start off tough as leather, probably get tougher, then soften.
My father used to tell his friends/relatives it was rattlesnake meat. Then after they ate some, he let them know they were periwinkles.