As I explained before, one of the things I wanted to do during the second lockdown was to hone my cooking skills. I also, by extension, wanted to try out things that were a little outside the "norm". I wanted to get further outside my comfort zone. In some cases that meant simply cooking something that I've eaten for years but never made myself. Not so much "exotic" but more of an experience in actually making it.
In other cases, however, the food and the dish were a little further "out there".
I've been scouring my recipe books and online looking for things to try my hand at that I wouldn't have tried cooking otherwise.
So I've done a few pies, for example and I've also tried other things. Like snails.
Escargots are wonderful. They're typically something you'd associate with France or possibly Spain. They're not something you'd think of as being Irish. I'd had them various times in restaurants, but I'd never tried cooking them at home nor had I even considered buying them.
However there are snail farms in Ireland. In fact, as I discovered, there is a snail farm near me in Carlow.
So over the last while I've been buying snails from Gaelic Escargot and I've been trying to perfect cooking them. (Tip: buying the jars of ready cooked snails is the sanest way of doing this as raw snails are just a pain to prepare properly).
And since I'm weird that way I went off and got both escargot forks and oven to table dishes.
If you're going to do something you might as well do it properly!
There are a LOT of recipes out there for cooking snails. And no, they aren't "slimy" at all. In fact quite the opposite.
Here's a shot from last night's attempt:
That's my take on the classic garlic, parsley and butter sauce. I topped it with freshly grated grana padano and overall it was damn good. You really need some crusty bread with that to mop up the garlic butter sauce by the way.
I'm still trying to find new and interesting things to cook or different methods to cook things. At the moment that means playing around with wild game, as it's that time of year when I can get it. More on that anon.