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Escargot “Pernodales”

My house is five hundred feet from one of the most beautiful rivers in Texas. The Pedernales, pronounced “purdonales” by locals, is short by Texas river standards and flows generally east through Gillespie County, behind the LBJ Ranch, for about a hundred miles before it joins with the Colorado River outside of Austin.

Escargot are rarely eaten along the banks of the Pedernales, but it seemed fitting to play on the name when we combined the anise flavored liqueur Pernod in this recipe. This is a simple dish that can be made ahead and popped in the oven right when your guests arrive. Make sure you finely chop the parsley and cilantro so when it is served with crusty baguette slices the herbs create a nice and beautiful green sauce.

Note: when you are serving an unfamiliar dish it pays to buy the best ingredients. We have found the Saveurs brand of escargot to be the perfect fit for this recipe.

2 sticks of butter, preferably European-style, room temperature

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tbs Pernod liqueur

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

12 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large shallot, finely chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro

24 large canned escargot

24 toasted baguette slices

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the butter in a mixer and whip until smooth. Then add the salt, Pernod, and black pepper and beat until an emulsion forms. The goal is to incorporate the liquid into the butter. Then add the garlic, shallot, parsley, and cilantro and beat on low speed until incorporated. Spoon about 1 tsp into each ramekin slot and place an escargot on top. Then spoon more of the compound butter on top until it is completely filled but not going over. Then wipe down and clean up the tops of the dishes.

Place in the oven for about 15 minutes until completely bubbling in all of the slots. The dish can be made a day ahead and covered with plastic wrap until cooking.

Serve with toasted baguette slices.

#escargot #appetizer #pernod

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Dan McCoy