Fried Snails with Olive Oil & Rosemary (aka Boubouristoi)
Or as we call them here in Crete, boubouristi, which means "with their head looking down". Being a student in Crete and haven't learned how to cook snails, em I couldn't let that happen. For all of you, who are like "oh snails are so slimy and disqusting", I have no words. If you want to know they have the most delicious and juicy meat that you -never- ever eaten.
Ingredients (make for 5-6)
:: 1 kg of snails
:: virgin olive oil
:: coarse salt
Helpful tips before cooking
1. If you have "winter" snails, put them in a -covered, so not to leave- basket and feed them with raw broken spaghetti (and flour, but avoid it because it gets muddy when mixed with their secretions and stuff and cleaning them is... + with herbs, avoid oregano - it embitters them). In about a week they will be ready, with a clean intestine to go on. The best, however, are the "summer" sleeping ones, which are fed, clean from their poop and with a membrane at the edge of the shell.
2. With a damp cloth clean the snails' shells from dried saliva and potential poop.
3. Do no cover them with flour before frying and do. not. boil them in salt water. Their taste will altered a lot. If, however, you want to desperately to boil them, firstly put them in a bowl with a little water so they will awake and start move around. Thus after boiling, their feet will stay outside the shell. But please, do not. We, also, don't cut the back intestine.
4. To avoid boiling them, but to ensure that they are all alive -duh-, scratch with your nail, the membrane that is formed outside of the shell. If it moves, well the snail is more than alive. You can also identify by smell any dead one. It's rather an acute smell.
5. In the end of frying, never ever add wine. Only vinegar.
1. Having your snails' shells clear, there you go.
2. Cover the pan's bottom with fine salt and array your living snails face down. As snails sit like this and because they don't like salt they will flip in their shells and they will take in a pinch of salt too. And right here resides the whole recipe’s taste and success. Boiling doesn't give you that, see?
3. Put the pan on the hot cook and leave them for 3-4 minutes only with the salt.
4. Add olive oil and cover halfway all snails. When the oil starts sizzling, decrease the stove's temperature and cook for approximately 10 minutes.
5. Try a snail. Their meat will be ready when tight and crisp.
6. Turn up the heat; add 1/2 of wineglass vinegar (not wine) and a pinch of dried rosemary.
7. Mix them while the vinegar sizzles, allow one more minute and when the vinegar evaporates, the snails are ready.
8. Serve along with the oil and the ingredients of the pan (a.k.a. where the whole flavor is hidden).
P.S. The shrilling sounds that you hear during frying, are not the snails' screamings, ‘cause simply snails don't make sounds from their mouths. So don't freak up. It's hot air, which tries to get out of the shell. Stay, cool!