Rice with Snails and veggies
In my family, we are all great snails predators… if my mother, or I find some fresh snails in the market… a family meeting is about to happen! 2 or 3 kilos will be devoured by 11 insatiable snails-eaters!
Lleida is one of the Catalan cities were snails have a very important part in their traditional gastronomy. There’s a big Event going on every year considered a National Touristic Feast where 200.000 participants assist and 12 snail tones are cooked and eaten. This year they have celebrated the 29th edition. Click the left red icon for more info (only available in catalan, sorry about that)
There’s many ways to cook them, see 3 other recipes here. And also in this blog in the near future: Snails “a la llauna”, Rabbit and snails, Snails’ brochette with Allioli…
Adding the snails to the rice casserole will give a herbs and forest flavour to this dish. Mmmmm! I bought this ones to a couple of farmers whom assured me that the snails were from a field of their own where Rosemary and Fennel were the predominant herbs.
Ingredients for 4 servings: 1 kilo of snails (for this recipe just need 3 handful or 4. Use the rest of the boiled snails for another recipe), 2 spring thyme, 1 spring of rosemary, 5 fennel seeds, 6 garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, water and some salt.
400 grs of rice (bomba or Bahía), 150 grs of cured panceta, 2 butifarras (catalan sausage) in small dices, 3 artichokes, 12 green beans, 1 onion, olive oil, 1 garlic clove and 2 table spoons of canned fried tomatoe, water and salt.
- First of all, clean thoroughly the snails (they have been fasting for 1 week) many times under tap water. Rub their shells and make sure nothing keeps adhered to them. The snails that don’t come out their shells should be placed in hot water, if they still don’t come out, discard. Once clean, put them in a deep casserole with cold water covering them and turn on the heat the lowest possible. When they start to feel the warmness, they’ll try to scape and will come out of their shells. When the water starts boiling their body will be out and that makes it easy to eat them. Let them boil for one minute. Rinse. Put them back in a deep casserole with the herbs, garlics, and salt and boil for 45 minutes at medium/low heat. Reserve.
- In a big sauce pan or another casserole (not a deep one), fry the panceta cut in dices with a bit of oil (4 to 5 table spoons) until golden, add the sausage cut in dices also and fry at medium heat, when golden
- Add the artichoke and cook at low heat. Take the meat away and reserve in a plate.
- Add the green beans, the onion and the garlic, all cleaned and chopped. Once is tender add the tomatoe sauce. Stir so that all ingredients absorb the flavours and scent.
- Strain 4 handful of snails (keep the water in which they were cooked) and add to the meat and veggies casserole. Stir for 2 or 3 minutes.
- Prepare a 3 liters pot with half the water (strained) of the boiling snails and half mineral water. Have it boiling softly.
- Preheat the oven at 170ºC.
- Add the rice to the casserole and stir for 1 minute. Watch that it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom.
- Pour some of the boiling snails water and cover the rice with it. Let the rest of the water keep on boiling so that you have if you need more. Stir and mix all ingredients and cook for 5 minutes at high heat. Taste and add salt if you consider it necessary.
- Low the heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes, if you see it gets dry add a bit more of water.
- Place the casserole in a middle rack and have for 5 more minutes in the oven.
- Take outside the oven and cover the casserole. Wait for another 5 minutes with the cover on the casserole and it will be ready to eat!
Notice that depending on the rice it will absorb more or less water. Follow your package instructions. A general rule is that the proportion water:rice is 2:1 But some rices are 2,5:1. That’s why is very useful to keep the water boiling aside to add a bit more if necessary :D