Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Escargot Basque Style (Caracoles a la Vizcaina)

This dish cannot be more typical of Christmas in the Basque Country. After all these years I found a place in the States where they sell snails from Spain in jars (I will put the address below). Imagine how excited I was when I found them and I also had all the ingredients for the sauce. There are a few differences with the french snails. In Spain they are smaller in size and we cook them in their shells with a "vizcaina sauce" with chorizo and serrano ham. These really bring me wonderful memories of growing up in the Basque country and probably I only had them five times in the last 20 years so this is very special. One time I even made the dish out of season during the summer. My aunt Mari Carmen was in charge of two dishes for Christmas, the "caracoles" and the squid in its own ink. Both have great aromas. However, I don't know how well I followed the traditional recipe...oh, well!!! They are great anyway. Yummmm!!! Delicioso!!!

This dish can also be served as a cazuelita "small portion"


2 Red Onions finely chopped
5 Garlic Cloves finely chopped
3 Tablespoons Tomato Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Choricero pepper meat already in a jar  or 12 dozen Choricero peppers dehydrated.
1 or 2 Dry Cayenne Peppers
Beef Stock
Spanish chorizo cut in cubes
Ham cut in cubes

I also add to the sauce:

1/4 Green Pepper finely chopped
1 Leek finely chopped
1/2 Cup Brandy

We can skip the step pertaining to the cleaning of the snails since I bought them cleaned and boiled and we can start with the sauce. In a pan with olive oil on low heat, add the onion, garlic, pepper, leek and cayenne pepper. When the onions are done and the vegetables tender add the half cup brandy, then add the tomato sauce. Stir for a few minutes, add the meat of the "choricero pepper" and stir for a few more minutes. Blend everything if the sauce is very thick, add the beef stock and set aside.

In another pan cook the ham, add the chorizo and cook until done.

In an earthenware pot, place the snails (previously washed), pour in the sauce, the ham and chorizo and keep it in the refrigerator until heating and serving. This is a dish that gets better if prepared two days before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Que buena pinta, enviame una racion por dhl, venga porfa.....