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Snails, garlic shoots and parsley

SERVES 6-8

Ingredients

Snails and garlic butter
500g snail meat
60g fine salt
500ml white grape vinegar
1 litre mineral water
1 head fennel, cut into 2cm dice
2 carrots, cut into 2cm dice
1 onion, cut into 2cm dice
2 celery sticks, cut into 2cm dice
2 bay leaves, cut into 2cm dice
200g unsalted butter
40g garlic, crushed
100g parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
Brioche dough
10g yeast
55g caster sugar
80g full fat milk, warmed
570g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
13g salt
90g unsalted butter, softened
5 whole medium-sized eggs
Garlic shoot emulsion
50g egg white
5g fine salt
20g white grape vinegar
300g rapeseed oil
50g spinach puree
50g garlic shoot juice

Method

Put the snail meat in a shallow dish, cover with 50g salt, turn to coat and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse the snail meat well to remove the salt. Place in a saucepan and cover with the white grape vinegar. Set aside for 1 hour. Put the snail meat in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Drain, leave to cool and repeat this process twice more. 

Add the remaining salt, vegetables and bay leaves to the snail cooking water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely, then strain. Combine the cooking water and snails and pack into a vac-pac bag. Cook in a water bath at 75°C for six hours. Drain, reserving the liquid and snails. Put the liquid in a saucepan set over a high heat. Reduce to 250ml. Add the butter to make a soft emulsion, then transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature – the consistency should be soft and spreadable.

Stir in the garlic and parsley and season. Stir in the cooled snails and divide into portions (working on a basis of two snails and a spoonful of emulsion per portion). Arrange on a baking tray and chill in the fridge. Once chilled, roll into ball shapes and freeze.

Mix the yeast, sugar and milk and set aside for 5 minutes to come to room temperature.

Put the flour and salt in an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk and yeast mixture and beat for 3-4 minutes, then gradually add the butter. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth, glossy and elastic. Tip out onto a floured work surface and roll (don’t knead) into a cylindrical loaf shape. Wrap in cling film and chill for 12 hours. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and divide into 15g pieces. Form the pieces into flat disks with the palm of your hand and chill once again. Working one disk at a time, with lightly floured hands wrap a piece of dough around each frozen snail as evenly as possible – try not to let the dough soften too much or the emulsion will leak out. Pinch the edges of the dough together to seal and remove any excess dough with scissors.

Roll into an even spherical shape and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Repeat with the remaining dough and snails and then freeze until needed.

Put the egg white, salt and vinegar in a bowl and blitz with a hand blender until foamy.

Gradually add the egg white until emulsified. Pour into a bowl and fold in the and egg white, blend until foamy then very gradually add the rapeseed oil until emulsified. In a bowl fold the emulsion together with the spinach puree and garlic shoot juice. Transfer to a squeezy bottle and set aside.

To serve
Fill a deep, heavy-based saucepan three-quarters full with oil and heat to 180°C. Fry the snail doughnuts for two minutes, then transfer to an oven preheated to 180°C for 4 minutes. Put the same number of dots of garlic shoot emulsion as you are serving snail doughnuts on serving plates. Place the snails on top and serve.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND PROP STYLING: SUKAINA RAJABALI
WORDS, RECIPES AND FOOD STYLING: SARAH PRICE

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