Faux Escargot

Yes, I am rather fearless in trying new dishes. As you are aware caviar is a fav of mine, but escarot. . .Well, let me tell you a little story.

At Provencal, a local French restaurant, a member of my plotting group ordered a round of escargot for everyone to share. Not wanting to appear rude, I told myself I was going to eat one—well, perhaps, nipple on one. While the aroma was delish. . . I struggled with removing my first snail from its shell, I had a hard time putting it in my mouth. And, while snails don’t really have much flavor and the texture is similar to that of a cooked mushroom, I just could not get past a mental picture of the slimy pesky little things, complete with sci-fi eyeballs, that chomp on the greenery in my garden.

What I did discover, was the sauce in which the snails were surrounding was incredible. From that time forward, one of my favorite dishes is what I call Faux Escargot in which I substitute mushrooms for snails in the classic French escargot dish made with butter, garlic and wine. Therefore, if you are like me and don’t like snails, either in your garden or on your plate, try this easy-to-make Faux Escargot.

16 -ounces whole white or button mushrooms
2 -shallots, peeled and minced
4 -garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 cup –(1 stick ) butter, divided into 2 tablespoons and 6 tablespoons
1 -tablespoon olive oil
1/2 -cup dry sherry
6 -tablespoons butter
1/2 -teaspoon salt
1/4 -teaspoon black pepper
1 -handful fresh parsley, large stems removed and leaves chopped
Crusty French bread to serve

• Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Leaving small and medium-small mushrooms whole and halving any large mushrooms, cut off and discard the bottom tough stem.
• In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
• Add the shallots and garlic. Sauté for about a minute until garlic is softened but not brown.
• Add the mushrooms and let cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms give up their liquid. Continue cooking until the liquid evaporates and mushrooms begin to turn golden brown.
• Add the sherry and cook until sherry is reduced by half.
• Add the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and simmer over low heat for about 3 minutes.
• Stir the salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning adding additional salt and pepper if desired.
• Scatter chopped parsley over the top before serving

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