Do you think of escargot as kid-friendly food? No? Well, I didn't either until I received this email from reader Courtney. She has been encouraging her five-year-old to be adventurous, and look what turned out to be a hit! The best part of the story, too, is that she didn't have to buy a new tool or pan to cook these unusual little treats. She repurposed something she already had. Read on for the full story!
We've been encouraging our 5 year-old to be adventurous when helping to decide the menu for Sunday family dinners. One week she picked octopus, which she loved. Kale was a bust. This past Sunday, she chose snails. I remember my mom making snails when I was a kid. So, we went to Blue Apron, a great shop in our Brooklyn neighborhood, and bought the kit: complete with shells and can of two dozen cooked snails. I have never actually made snails, but I had a general idea.
The one problem was what to cook them in. The proprietor of Blue Apron suggested nestling them in a bed of coarse salt. I didn't have enough coarse salt at home and we don't have one of those snail dishes, so I started digging through the cabinets and there with the sheet pans came the answer: mini muffins are roughly the size of the snail shells.
So I pulled out the mini muffin pan, stuffed the shells with the snails, packed garlic parsley butter on top and set them each in a muffin compartment. I put them in the fridge, let the butter firm up and then cooked them for about 12 minutes in a 425 degree oven. If I had company I would have parsed out individual portions into our nice shallow white soup bowls, but because it was just the kid and the husband, we put the whole tray on the table.
The kid loved, loved, loved them. She ate about 9.
This is long-winded way to say: hooray for the mini muffin pan!
Hooray indeed! And thank you for sharing, Courtney! Now we're in the mood for some French escargot...
Related: Who Eats A Better Lunch: You Or A French 3-Year-Old?
(Images: Courtney via email)