Saussarelle D'escargots

Course : Cajun
Serves: 4
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1/2 teaspoon pepper -- (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt -- (to taste)
1/4 cup fennel -- chopped
1 tablespoon parsley -- minced
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup wine -- red
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 piece bay leaf
24 medium snails
1/2 cup sauce espagnole **
2 medium tomatoes -- peeled, seeded chopped
2 medium shallots -- minced
1 medium carrot -- chopped
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic -- , minced
1 medium lemon -- quartered
4 medium artichoke -- bottoms

Preparation / Directions:

** See recipe for Sauce Espagnole. Cook the artichokes with lemon in boiling water for 10 minutes or until still firm but cooked through. Set aside. Melt half of the butter in a pan and add garlic, carrots, shallots, and onions. In another pan, put the tomatoes and the sauce. Let simmer. To the vegetables, add bay, thyme and half of the red wine. Simmer for 10 minutes and pour into the simmering tomato sauce. Put the remaining butter in a skillet and, when hot, add the drained snails. Add the remaining red wine and reduce by one-third. Add brandy to the snails and burn off the alcohol carefully. Combine the snails and sauce and add fennel. Simmer for 5 minutes, taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the drained artichoke bottoms and garnish with parsley.

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