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Where would Parisian cooking be without garlic and butter? Those two ingredients are the cornerstones of the cuisine, also beloved around the world, but nowhere are they put to better use than on a plate of garlic butter snails.
The neutral flavour of the snails makes them the perfect one-bite companion for the oozy, garlicky butter, given an umami kick with finely sliced shallots and pepper, and a hit of freshness courtesy of freshly-picked parsley.
While it has a reputation as a fancy restaurant or bistro dish, keeping a tin of natural snails on the shelf allows you to pull together this incredible snack or starter in minutes. Simply prepare the garlic butter, stuff the snails (which are already cooked when tinned) into the ready-to-use shells and top with the butter. Slide into a hot oven for 10-15 minutes and you’re ready to be transported to the alleyways of Paris.
Combine the butter, verjuice, salt, pepper, diced shallot and chopped parsley in a bowl. Using a microplane grater, grate the garlic into the bowl (alternatively, dice as finely as possible), then stir and mash very well with a fork until well combined.
Loosely scrunch a sheet of aluminium foil and lay it in a roasting dish. Place the snail shells on the foil, pushing them down, so that they sit securely upright in the foil (with the openings facing up). Using either a piping bag or a small spoon, add roughly a teaspoon of the butter mix into each shell. Follow by pushing a snail roughly 1/2cm into each shell, then fill the remaining cavity with more of the butter.
Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the butter is bubbling and the garlic no longer smells raw.
Serve with fresh or toasted slices of baguette.
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