When I first flicked through Les Halles Cookbook, one of the surprising tidbits was to find that tinned snails are considered the norm in the restaurant business. I’ve eaten snails at a restaurant – years ago. I remember the sauce being wonderfully delicious, rich, garlicky.. but the snails themselves extremely rubbery and a massive effort to eat. Perhaps those snails weren’t tinned? I imagine the effect on texture could be analogous to tinned vs fresh asparagus. Whatever the case, I definitely wont feel I’ve given the little critters a proper going over until I have sourced and cooked em from scratch.

The sauce calls for a head of garlic, each clove peeled. Time to try out a trick my buddy James Rob recently told me about – probably during between-turn-banter over a game of Puerto Rico. Take the head of garlic and put it in a pan with lid held down and shake the crap out of it for a minute, after which over half the cloves are perfectly peeled and the rest most of the way there. This slightly bruises the cloves, but way less so than popping them open under the flat side of a knife.

Think of a reasonable quantity of butter then double, maybe quadruple it, blend up with garlic and parsley, follow some other instructions, add to the snails that have been sauteed with sliced shallot and wine, and presto! Actually super tasty.. and sticky and messy.

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