Julia Child’s French Escargots

2017-03-12
  • This Recipe
  • Cuisine : French Cuisine
  • Course : First Course
  • Difficulty : Easy
  • Category : Course
  • Yield : 12 Escargots
  • Servings : 6
  • Preparation Time : 30 Minutes
  • Cooking Time : 10 Minutes
  • This Post
  • Chef : François
  • Category : Recipe
  • Comments : No Comment
  • Languages :  English  |   Français
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   La version Française se trouve ICI
A french tradition, the Escargots by Julia Child 
Tarragon Trout

About this recipe

A French tradition, that you will find during the end of year season on many French tables, and occasionally in French restaurants.
However to be honest, I feel like I’ve seen that dish more often in America, for some reasons.

I guess the same goes with French people who think that American only eat burgers, Americans find this a typical French dish, when honestly, the younger French generations rarely eat this dish, they are much more into sushis and organic food…
However, I like to cook Escargots on occasion, for friends and family, and I found out that for a recipe that seemed so simple, there are actually a few tricks to know, that I share here.

Thanks to Julia we now can cook great Escargots !
Tarragon Trout
Julia Child

Julia Child, we owe you respect

This is a recipe of Julia Child.

I have a great respect for Julia, for the dedication to French Cuisine and her huge work to assemble the French recipes and techniques in her book. She acquired her knowledge while living in Paris and studying at the Cordon Bleu de Paris
Julia Child

Her book, a masterpiece

Julia spent many years in Paris and discovered the French food, and upon attending the Cordon Bleu, learned about French cuisine techniques.

After she moved back to the United States, Julia Child wrote her book "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", a masterpiece that is still a best seller that you still can find nowadays in all bookstores in the states. What an impressive undertaking !
Julia ChildIn fact, the book was written with two French ladies, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.

These three ladies met in Paris and started an informal school "L'école des trois gourmandes" (The School of the Three Food Lovers).

When Julia appeared on television, she kept the same name on a sticker on her chest.
After writing her book, Julia appeared on American television in a series called "The French Chef"
Julia Child

Julia in Pasadena

I learned about Julia Child quite late : While I was living shortly in Pasadena for a class at the Cordon Bleu, my teachers mentioned Julia and her book.

Coincidence: Julia lived in Pasadena and studied at the Cordon Bleu (but that in Paris).

While in Pasadena, I decided to visit her place

House of Julia Child
625 Magnolia Avenue
Pasadena, California
Julia Child House in Pasadena
This house is not a museum but a private house
Julia Child House in Paris

Julia in Paris

And when I later visited Paris, (see my post HERE), I had to walk by the place she had been living in Paris...

House of Julia in Paris
81, rue de l'Université
75007 Paris
France
Julia Child MovieYou probably saw the movie about Julia Child "Julie and Julia", starring Meryl Streep et Amy Adams.

To see the movie, you may buy it on DVD for instance HERE
A movie that you must see, I insist !.

Meryl Streep plays Julia Child, and delivers a great acting performance, as always...
Julia Child Movie
The movie shows Julia's life, including her days at the Cordon Bleu Paris
Julia Child Movie
Here, this is a picture when Meryl Streep (Julia Child) first arrives in Paris
Julia Child Movie
The house of Julia, in the movie, is not 'rue de l'université' as I told you earlier, the movie location was a bit further, and of course I had to see it as well, as I enjoyed very much the movie !

House of Julia (movie)
10, Rue de Seine
75006 Paris
France
Julia Child Movie at rue de seine in Paris
Julia Child MovieThere are other film locations to discover while in Paris : This article talks about those places
Tarragon Trout

Source of the recipe

Julia Child's book is a must-have...
Tarragon TroutI initially thought the book would not be very useful, to be honest. However I changed my mind : it is very useful ! Julia captured the traditional recipes, and this information is important to us, food lovers
Tarragon TroutYou can find the recipe on page 103
Tarragon Trout

Origins of the recipe

This dish was in fact first described in a 1825 book, by the French cook Borel (« Nouveau dictionnaire de cuisine« ).

Ingredients

Tarragon Trout 
12 Snails

1 Cup Butter (226 grams)

¼ Cup Shallots (40 grams)

4 Garlic Cloves

¼ Cup Parsley (15 grams)

One pinch of Salt

One pinch of Pepper

Steps

Tarragon TroutLet’s start by mincing very thinly the

Shallots

(¼ Cup or 40 g)
Tarragon TroutCombine the minced

Shallots

(¼ Cup or 40 g) and the

Butter

(1 Cup or 226 g)
Chop very thinly the

Garlic Cloves

(4) and the

Parsley

(¼ Cup or 15 g) (for this I’m using a small food processor)
Tarragon Trout
Tarragon TroutCombine everything in a mixing bowl. Note that the

Butter

must be cold and not soft. Add in the

Salt

(One pinch) and the

Pepper

(One pinch)

The butter must be cold
Tarragon Trout I do not recommend to mix by hand, as this would force you to overwork the batter which would turn too liquidy…
Tarragon Trout My recommendation is mix with the stand mixer (like a Kitchen Aid appliance), using the 'paddle' (sometimes called the 'leaf')
This is the result you should obtain, a creamy batter that is not liquid
Tarragon Trout
And this is what you should NOT get, a liquidy batter as it will make your job pretty difficult for the next steps
Tarragon Trout

The shells

I bought those Escargot Shells, and I have been using them over and over for 10 years. Nature makes the best materials !

Wash them with boiled water and soap, rest

a few hours

, then rince, wash them with running water, and dry them in the sun.

Finding escargot shells is not difficult anymore ! You can find them online, or even in grocery stores sometimes (I saw them at Ralph’s).
If you live in Los Angeles, you may find them at Nicole’s:

Nicole’s market
921 Meridian Avenue
South Pasadena, CA 91030
Tarragon Trout
You will also need the special silverware : snail tongs and snail forks
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The snails

Canned snails are also pretty easy to find nowadays, online or in stores (same as for the shells, I saw them at Ralph’s and at Nicole’s)
Tarragon Trout
Tarragon Trout
Tarragon TroutThe best option to fill the shells is to use a pastry bag
Tarragon TroutThe pastry tip size shouldn’t be too large
Tarragon TroutStart by inserting the creamy batter
Tarragon TroutYou may use a spoon, but it’s not as clean as the pastry bag

Note: Look at my sad face on the previous image and at the happy face on this image… Just goes to show you : spooning is hard, using a pastry bag is easier !
And here’s what happens when the batter is too liquidy, I warned you… it’s pretty bad, he ?
Tarragon Trout
Tarragon Trout And this is much better, the batter is creamy and not liquidy
Tarragon TroutThen insert one of the 12

Snails


Tarragon Troutand finish by filling with more batter
Tarragon Trout
Tarragon Trout
Tarragon TroutTo hold the snails in a upside down position, I am using those special snail dishes
Here you go! At this stage you may place the snails in the refrigerator for

a few hours

until your guests are here
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Baking

Finally, bake the Escargots in preheated oven at 360 °F/180 °C for about

10 minutes


Tarragon Trout
Tarragon TroutReady to be savored !
Sooooo good… C’est siiii bon….

Tarragon Trout

The result and the pix



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12 Snails

1 Cup Butter (226 g)

¼ Cup Shallots (40 g)

4 Garlic Cloves

¼ Cup Parsley (15 g)

One pinch of Salt

One pinch of Pepper

Total