Last week, at the Leb Farmer’s Market, I was able to get my hands on some delightful fresh beets. It also happened to be my day off, so I decided to get funky and try something really different.
Earlier in August we had been shopping at a specialty food shop and picked up some Escargot dishes, so snails were on my mind and in my pantry. I wanted to do something a little more imaginative and “fun” than just cooking some snails in garlic butter.
The result was much more fun and satisfying:
Wow, was this ever delicious!
The preparation is quite simple and straightforward, the shopping list inexpensive. You can probably make this in about 40 minutes, start-to-finish.
- Carrot (1 large)
- Beets (2 small)
- Fennel (1 head)
- Shallot (2 medium sized)
- Green Onion (1)
- Butter (3 Tbsp)
- Olive Oil (3 Tbsp, Medium, for frying)
- Dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc) (1/2 Cup)
- Heavy Cream (1/2 Cup)
- Snails (1 can)
- Puff Pastry sheets
Preparing the Puff Pastry
First I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees, then I buttered the phyllo dough sheets and layered them in a muffin-tin:
Count out 6 or 7 snails into each “purse”
Top the snails with a pinch of salt and finely-chopped Fennel fronds.
Beet Cream Filling
- Brunoise 1/4 Cup of each:
- Fennel Stalk (the white part)
Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick saute pan on medium heat, add the Carrot, Beet and Fennel. Cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the Shallot and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the wine and cream, lower the heat, and reduce to a very thick sauce. Stir frequently to avoid scorching. When the sauce is thick enough, remove from heat and reserve until you are ready to bake the Puff Pastry purses.
When you are ready, add two tablespoons of the sauce on top of the snails in each purse. Crimp and gently twist the purses closed and bake in the oven until golden (about 8-10 minutes).
Prepare the Garnish
- Julienne the second Shallot and set aside
- Cut the second Beet into slices, about 1/8 inch thick, set aside
- Chop the Green Onion finely, on a bias
- Heat the Olive Oil in the saute pan and fry the Beet slices until they are crisp
- Fry the Shallot until caramelized to a nice golden brown
- Drain the fried garnish in a paper towel
To serve, line your plate with fried Beet chips, place the purse on top, then sprinkle with fried Shallots and Chopped Green Onions.
Enjoy with a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc.