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In this week's issue...Service with a smile Tom Kemble of the Pass at South Lodge cooks up a pumpkin masterclass and shares why it’s important for chefs to meet their customers
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The Caterer

Snails with morels, asparagus & garlic purée

11 September 2006
Snails with morels, asparagus & garlic purée

Ingredients

(serves four)

20 live snails
4oz rock salt
1 carrot
½ onion
1 sprig thyme
4 peppercorns
1oz white vinegar
1 head garlic
1oz chicken bouillon
½ chicken breast
1 egg white
200ml double cream
2oz dried morels
1 medium potato
4 spears asparagus
4oz oyster trumpet and girolle mushrooms
100ml chicken jus
1 shallot
1oz chopped parsley
2oz butter
Salt and pepper
Arachide oil
Rosemary

Method

Cover the snails with rock salt and leave for 24 hours. Thoroughly wash the snails under cold running water.

Peel the carrot and onion and cut to mirepoix. Colour until golden in a pan adding two cloves of garlic and thyme.

Add the vinegar water chicken bouillon and snails. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1½ hours. Allow to cool in liquid. Remove snails from their shells. Clean and return to liquor which has been passed.

Chicken mousse

Clean the chicken breast. Remove all fat and skin and purée. Add a pinch of salt egg white and 100ml cream. Pass through a fine sieve and beat in the other 100ml cream.

Garlic purée

Peel the garlic. Cover with cold water in a pan and bring to the boil. Refresh the garlic with cold water and return to the boil. Repeat five times until the garlic is soft. Drain the water and add a tablespoon of double cream. Boil and purée instantly.

Morel Powder

Powder the dried morels in a coffee grinder.

Fondant potatoes

Cut the potatoes into 10p-size circles using a round cutter (20 pieces). Melt butter in a pan and add the chopped rosemary and potatoes. Cook very slowly on both sides for half and hour. Season.

To finish the snails remove from the liquor and dry them. Cut plastic film in 10cm squares. Place 1tsp chicken mousse in the square and add one snail. Repeat and tie these into small balls. Steam for four minutes. Remove the film and cover with morel powder.

Asparagus

Cut off the asparagus tops blanch and refresh. Using a peeler make tagliatelle strips with the remainder of the asparagus. Cook these with the tips for 30 seconds in boiling water. Remove and season.

Sauce

Colour the wild mushrooms in a pan using butter. Add the diced shallots and cook. Add the reduced chicken jus. Emulsify this with butter and season.

To serve place five potatoes on each plate. Place a little garlic purée on each potato. Place a snail on each potato. Place the asparagus in a ball in the middle of the plate. Arrange the mushrooms and their sauce around the plate and serve.

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