Snails, Tails, and Tasso

Adapted by StarChefs.com
May 2012
Yield: 8 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Creamy Grits
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups half and half
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup white grits
Snails, Tails, and Tasso
2 tablespoons 80/20 oil
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces tasso, medium diced
½ leek, halved and sliced
4 ounces wild mushrooms, small diced
Splash brandy
½ cup vegetable stock
1 pound Louisisana crawfish tails
1 pound frozen frozen basil-fed snails
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
Tobasco hot sauce
2 sprigs thyme, minced
2 sprigs oregano, minced
3 green onions, minced

METHOD:

For the Creamy Grits:
Bring a pot of vegetable stock, half and half, and butter to a soft boil. Season with salt and whisk in the grits. Reduce heat to low, and cook grits until tender, stirring constantly. Keep grits warm.

For the Snails, Tails, and Tasso:
In a medium skillet, heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add Tasso, leeks, and mushrooms to skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the tasso renders some of its flavor. Deglaze with brandy, cook for 30 seconds, and add vegetable stock. Cook 2 minutes to meld flavors. Add crawfish tails, a delicate touch of salt, pepper, and a few dashes of Tabasco. Add minced herbs and green onions. Evaluate the density and seasoning of the pan gravy; if necessary, turn up heat and reduce a couple minutes. Turn the heat to medium heat, add snails, tossing briefly to warm through 45 seconds. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of diced butter and swirl into the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

To Assemble and Serve:
Ladle the grits into bowls, and spoon the Snails, Tails, and Tasso over the top.