Recipe: How to Cook Snails Cretan-Style

Eating snails is not just for the French: This Cretan recipe for Hochlioi bourbouristi ("burbling snails") sees them fried and doused in vinegar.


Chef: Christoforos Peskias

Preparation & Cooking time: 1 1/2 hour + 6-12 min

Serves: 4

Preparation

Soak the snails in a deep bowl of cold water for 1 hour, throwing out the ones that rise to the surface.

Drain and place in a deep saucepan over low to medium heat.

Add the wine and enough water to cover them.

Then add the garlic and bay leaf and simmer for 20-25 minutes, removing any scum that forms on top with a slotted spoon.

Set aside and let cool in the liquid.

Once they have cooled down, drain and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

Have a large bowl of flour nearby.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a high heat before flouring the snails quickly, shaking off the excess flour and placing them in the hot oil so that the shell’s aperture is facing down.

Fry for 2-3 minutes without moving them.

Sprinkle with salt and/or pepper to taste.

Add the vinegar and the rosemary, cooking for another 2-3 minutes, without stirring, until the vinegar has evaporated.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Ingredients

  • 1kg snails
  • 500ml dry white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt 
  • All-purpose flour
  • 70ml olive oil
  • 150ml good quality vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste


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