Will It Be Sous Vide? Delicate, Oily Snail

Hello everyone, and welcome back to the very oily and zestyWill It Sous Vide? , a weekly column where I do whatever you want with my immersion circulator.

As you may or may not have noticed, this week’s topic was not the most popular in our topic selection session. Although at first I was thrilled to boil crayfish, a few things made me reconsider my decision. First, you need live crayfish to boil them, which means you have to kill them. This is usually accomplished through the entire boil process, but sous-video cooking requires a much lower temperature and I just feel uncomfortable sealing a bunch of live crayfish in a bag and leaving them to die slowly in a 145-degree bath. … Another problem associated with boiling crayfish or in any other way is vegetables. Both corn and potatoes are cooked at a much higher temperature than shellfish (180 ℉), so it’s not an option to cook everything in one bag.

So I skipped that and decided instead to go with Carl’s suggestion of snails because I’m a big fan of eating snails and because I wanted to see if sous-video cooking would result in a softer, less rubbery snail-eating experience. experience.

After phoning four different stores, I finally found a place that sold canned snails with a selection of shells for presentation. Having never cooked snails at home before, I wanted to do a side-by-side comparison between sous-vide snails and those that were cooked in the shell in the oven. Using this recipe as a template , I whisked up some herbal butter containing:

  • 1 piece of butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallots, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

I kneaded all this stuff together with a fork, then scooped half of the oil mixture into a vacuum bag. Then I drained the snails and put half of them (six snails in total) in a bag of oil, making sure they were surrounded by it, and sealed it all up.

I threw the bag packed with snails into the 154-degree bath for an hour, and while these guys were bathing in the hot tub, I cooked a batch from the oven.

Since my main goal was to surround the snails with as much oil as possible, I first tucked some of the butter mixture into the sink, tucked the snail into it on top of a layer of butter, and then covered it with a lot of oil. … I didn’t have one of those fancy snail platters, but I did have a small muffin pan and it worked really well. I put the muffin pan in the refrigerator to let the butter solidify a little, and then, when the sous vide batch had 15 minutes to cook, I put it in the oven at 350 degrees until everything was hot and bubbling (it took about 15 minutes). ).

It was time to get the bag of snails out of the sous-vide tub, so I took them out, opened them up and shoved them into their new homes (which turned out to be very similar to their old homes). There was a lot of ghee in the bag, and I wasn’t going to let this stuff go to waste, so it ended up on the snails.

I put the oven-baked snails in a bowl, toasted some bread, and got ready to taste. This taste test, of course, begs the question: will snails be sous vide?

Answer? Yes. They tasted good, but they tasted almost indistinguishable from the snails I cooked in shell. Both batches were oily, garlic and full of zesty earthy flavor, and I couldn’t tell the difference.

In terms of texture, the difference was very minor. The sous vide snails were slightly softer than their oven-baked cousins, but oven-baked snails were by no means “chewy.” In fact, the difference was so minor that I’m not entirely sure I can tell the difference on blind tasting. I would test this theory if there was someone nearby who would blindfold and feed the snails.

Plus, cooking them in the shell means they stay hot longer as the shell heats up with the snail meat. After taking the sous-vide snails out of the bag and placing them in the shells, and then taking them back out of the shells to eat, I found that they had cooled a little. (I think I could serve them in a bowl without shells, but they’re not very attractive and the shells really help with optics.) So I’m not sure if sous vide snails are “worth it.” considering the fact that they take longer to cook and taste almost the same as those that are cooked in the oven. (Both games were mostly delicious.)

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