Escargots (snails) et Aubergine en sauce


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hum lunch s ready! Escargots en sauce

Usually I eat my snails full of garlic and chopped parsley as an entrée. This time I felt inspired to make it in a sauce completely off hand with a makeshift cream. All served with parboiled roasted potatoes and a Sauvignon Blanc.

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ingredients

Ingredients:
1 big aubergine
A small bunch of flat parsley
1 medium red onion
5 garlic cloves
Enough baby potatoes for two
1 table spoon of plain flour
300ml of whole milk.
1 vegetable stock cube and salt
3 dozen of snails in brine
1 spring onion
Ground nut oil
Pinch of dry thyme

Prep:
Start by peeling the potatoes, onions, garlic. Rise the snails, the spring onion set aside.
Cut the onion in quarters. Cut the aubergine in the same size, as the onions set aside. Crush the garlic with a crusher as it squeezed out all the flavour.

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snails and onions

Method:
Put the potatoes in a pan with the cut spring onion and cover with salted water. Parboil them potatoes for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes remove them and place them in a baking dish, drizzle 2 spoons of groundnut oil over then place in the oven for 20min at 175C to roast.

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aubergine and garlic

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil in a sauce pan. Throw in the onions quarters, a pinch of thyme and the snails. Stir until the snails are crispy. Now add the aubergine, garlic, vegetable cube and 50ml of water. Cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the flour to the milk and mix well until the flour is completely dissolved. Now add the melange to the sauce and mix well. Leave to simmer for another 5 minutes the time for the flour to cook through. If the sauce seem too heavy, add another 50ml of water. Now add in the chopped parsley mix well, adjust the seasoning and remove from the stove. The sauce is ready.

I served this sauce with a freshly cooked baguette (from part-baked), lightly roasted potatoes and a Sauvignon Blanc.

I had to start with the baguette of course...

I had to start with the baguette of course…

Note: This sauce doesn’t really need potatoes and could be served just with a freshly cooked baguette.
Instead of using the whole milk and flour, you can just use crème fraiche. But this version is less rich… and I didn’t have any cream handy.

You can buy snails from www.frenchclick.co.uk or maybe in Harrods food hall or even Selfridges.

Bon appétit.

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Stuffed onion with parsnips chips


So, my friend came to work the other day, pulls out this massive onion from here bag and say… look¬ I brought this for you!

Stuffed onion, parsnips chips & tahini sauce

Stuffed onion, parsnips chips & tahini sauce

I took the onion and It was the most perfect onion I have ever seen; the colour, the shape… I proceeded to make and exposé to my colleagues about the onion for the rest of the week. I displayed it on my desk and everyone passing by asked me why I had this onion on my desk… we had by now named it “Olivier”. Unless you can see beyond the fact that it was an onion, you’d know why “Olivier” was on my desk. I thought about exhibiting it in the London National gallery but the urge to cook something special with it was much stronger! So I created the Stuffed “Olivier” with parsnips chips & tahini sauce.

 Ingredients:

ingredients for this dish

ingredients for this dish

  • Olive oil
  • “Olivier” the onion
  • Fresh parsley
  • 5 Brazil nuts
  • 1 table spoon of flour
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • 10 soya meat balls
  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 vegetable stock cube.
  • 1 table spoon of Tahini and
  • 1 table spoon of mustard paste

Start by hollowing the onion leaving at least 3 layers for the shell.  In a hot frying pan with olive oil, brown the extremities of the onion shell and leave aside.

 Preparing the stuffing: Boil some water and pour over the soya meat balls with a pinch of salt. Leave to soften for 10 minutes, then squeeze out the water and cut finely.

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Ready chopped ingredients

The soya meat is a bit like a sponge and need a lot of seasoning. So, after cutting it finely, fry it for 3 minutes in Olive oil and chopped onion. Set aside.

Roast and grate the brazil nuts, peel and grate the carrot, finely chop the parsley, chop onion and garlic.

Now in a hollow dish mix all the above with the flour and 3 table spoons of water, a bit of salt and pepper, half a crushed vegetable stock cube and the fired soya meat.

Scoop the mélange into the onions halves, put them in an oven dish and drizzle olive oil on the top. Cover the dish with aluminium and put in the oven

all stuffed!!!

all stuffed!!!

at 175C for 1hr.

The aluminium will help produce the steam needed in to cook through the mince. Remove the aluminium after 30 minutes and leave the onion to finish cooking and browning for the other 30 minutes.

For the tahini sauce.

In a frying pan, add a table spoon of olive oil, add a hand full of onion and brown. Add the tahini paste and mustard paste with half a glass of water. Leave to cook for about 5 the time for the water to dry and you can no longer smell the mustard on it own or taste the bitterness of the tahini.

For the parsnip:

Peel, cut and fry like regular potatoes chips… (simples!)

All is ready to serve.

 The stuffed oinion on its own can be used as a starter. The outer layers can be really sweet.

Enjoy!