- 4 ounces fresh foie gras, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup minced shallots
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound button mushrooms, rinsed well and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup Madeira or Port
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1(28-ounce) can snails, drained and rinsed (or, 48 fresh snails, prepared as directed below)
- 1 egg, beaten
For the sauce:
- Remaining foie gras fat and enough butter to measure 1/4 cup total
- 3/4 cup minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
Transfer 3 tablespoons of the rendered foie gras fat to a large saute pan along with the butter. Heat over medium-high heat and saute the shallots for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, and saute, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms give off their liquid. Continue to cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the Madeira and cook until all liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry sheets to a thickness of 1/8-inch. Cut into 12 (2-inch) rounds and 12 (3 1/2-inch) rounds. Divide duxelles between the 12 (2-inch) rounds and top each mound of duxelles with 4 snails. Cut reserved foie gras into 12 pieces and place one piece on top of each mound of snails and duxelles. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush the edges of each 2-inch round with some of the beaten egg, then top each 2-inch round with one of the larger rounds, easing to cover snails so that the edges line up. Crimp edges closed with your fingers or with the tines of a fork and make a small slit in the top of each dome with the tip of a paring knife. Brush each dome with a little of the beaten egg, transfer domes to an ungreased baking sheet and chill thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake the domes for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed. Serve immediately, covered with some of the sauce.
While domes are baking, make the sauce by melting the reserved foie gras fat and butter and saute shallots until soft, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and fresh thyme and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and cook until liquid has reduced to a quarter of its original volume. Add heavy cream and cook until sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve with the hot escargot domes.
If using fresh snails, follow the procedure below for cleaning and preparing the shells:
- 48 fresh snails in their shells
- White vinegar
- Dry white wine
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 bouquet garni
- 10 cloves garlic, mashed
- Freshly ground black pepper
Allow snails to fast for at least one day. Rinse snails under cold running water and then transfer to a large bowl and cover with white vinegar and a handful of salt. Cover snails with a heavy plate to keep them submerged and allow them to purge for at least 3 hours. Rinse again under cold running water and clean thoroughly to remove all traces of mucous. Place snails in a small saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain and remove snails from their shells. Transfer shells to another saucepan and cover with salted water and boil for at least 30 minutes. Remove shells from the water, clean thoroughly and let them dry completely before proceeding. Clean shelled snails again and remove the black part at the end of the tail. Place snails in a saucepan and cover with a mixture of half water and half dry white wine. Add onion, carrots, celery, bouquet garni, 10 cloves garlic, salt, and pepper. Partially cover saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 hours, or until tender, and allow snails to cool in cooking liquid. Drain snails (discard poaching liquid) and pat snails dry. Proceed with recipe as directed.