Christmas Night Escargot before the Turkey.
I’ve tried a bunch of different Escargot recipes but this one I find is just perfect. It’s all about balance and this one is perfection. I’ll delve into how I came about this Recipe and Book below. Cool story.
From Gourmet Cookbook Volume II. 1965
For 24 escargot
1/3 lb unsalted butter (10 and 1/2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon finely minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon finely minced flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves mashed through the press
2 tbls white wine
Pepper to taste
Wash and dry the canned escargot … Yes, they all smell weird coming out of the can – after a rinse they smell fine.
Place all the ingredients except the escargot and wine into the butter which has been softened at room temp. Use a fork to incorporate. Sprinkle a little bit of the wine in each escargot circle in the ramekin. Place a washed and dried escargot in each circle and place a little dab of butter on top of each escargot. Sprinkle with fine bread crumbs. I use Progresso plain or Wondra.
Bake 450 for 10 minutes.
High broil for 2 minutes.
5 Massive Stars – Thank you Louie!
So who is Louie? Louie is Louie Zalesjak who owned Maitre’D restaurant in La Jolla along with his parnter Mark Kescenovitz. I absolutly loved this restaurant and had the best and most memorable dining experinces in my life there. I don’t think it could ever be topped nor do I want it to. The food was the French Classics perfected, but the “X” factor of the dining experince sent the whole evening off the charts. Sorta like being at a concert, you have to get into it and let it flow, once it did, it was ON. Lightning in a bottle. Fabulous Beef Wellingtons, Rack of Lamb, Steak Diane prepared table side, and the best Dover Sole I ever had (Lutece ties it but Lutece uses Veal Demi glace so its not the classic). On special occasions, which was often there, we would splurge and have a fish course of the Dover Sole inbetween the appetizer and main when we just couldn’t decide what to order. The desserts were just as fantastic with Baked Alaska, flamed tableside, the best Grand Mariner Soufles and Cafe Diablo to finish it all off.
My absolute favorite were their escargot in puff pastry served in a ramekin. No one even came close. Sometimes I would order two.
The food was one component of Maitre’D, others took shape as soon as you walked through the door. I always felt the ride was never over until waking up the next moring and getting on with the day. Just like some of my favorite concerts.
Louie decided to offically retire and sold the property a few years back. He did have a going away sale with all the restaurant equipment and furniture. I had to have one last look at the place. While there, Louie presented me with a book, it was The Gourmet Cookbook Vol. II. One of the most profound gestures I have ever encountered and recieved. This recipe is close to Louie’s, but will forever lack the “X” factor that was Maitre’D.