When I was growing up, we didn’t have a lot of extra money to go out for dinner. When we did go out, it was often to places that accepted meal tickets from my father’s union job, so we often ate at salad bars or buffet-style restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, as a food obsessed child, going to Bonanza’s or Mr. Mike’s was a real treat indeed, endless servings of baked potato wedges, pasta, “salad”, breads and desserts that I served myself?! Yeah, I didn’t hate it.
On the very special occasion that we went out to a steak house, Greek restaurant or other fancy establishment (growing up in a town of less than 30,000 people, you have limited options), I always asked if I could order this one dish: Escargot. Five or six mushroom caps filled with a single snail, baked in special little dishes, soaked in butter, often baked with cheese and always served with a generous portion of garlic bread, this was the stuff dreams were made of. I revelled in its arrival, I squirmed in my seat with anticipation, I took trips to the bathroom in the hopes that it would be there when I got back and then when my appetizer finally arrived, I gobbled it up in a furor of excitement and satisfaction.
It's memories like these that we so often associate with foods from our childhood which can often be recreated as adults into something even more appealing. Think of the resurgence of grilled cheese sandwiches, such a simple, almost monotonous food that has been given a new life. Don’t even get me started on my history with grilled cheese…
So it was with this thought in mind that I created a more waistline and adult friendly dish that won’t make you or your guests nearly as squeamish (I guess some people don’t like the thought of eating snails?!). I tested this recipe on my four and six year old children (not revealing the secret ingredient) and they ate it up and were none the wiser.
Yield: 1 12” flatbread | Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
For the flatbread:
¼ cup whole milk (warmed to 120-130°F)
½ tsp organic can sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp sea salt
½ cup plain
0% Greek yogurt
For the topping:
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 small yellow or sweet onion, sliced into half-moons
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 tsp dried oregano or Italian herbs sea salt to taste
1 125g can escargot in water (drained and rinsed), chopped
113g fresh goat cheese
1. In a small bowl, dissolve sugar in warm milk. Add yeast, stir to combine and allow to rest 1-2 minutes.
2. In a separate, larger bowl, blend the flour and salt.
3. Pour the milk into the flour and add the yogurt. Stir to combine until you can no longer stir. Continue by kneading on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball, place back in the bowl, and cover with a moist towel. Allow to rest in a warm spot while you prepare the topping.
4. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a pizza stone in the oven while preheating. If you don’t have access to a pizza stone, line a large baking tray with aluminum foil and brush with oil.
5. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the butter on medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic until soft and slightly golden brown. Add in the chopped escargot, oregano and salt and sauté for 1-2 more minutes. Remove from heat.
6. Remove dough from bowl and shape roughly with your hands into desired shape. Dough should be no thicker than ¼”. Place the dough on the baking tray (or if using a pizza stone, on a floured piece of large cardboard). Crumble the goat cheese over, followed by the escargot and mushroom blend (You may have some left over). If using the pizza stone, slide the dough from the floured cardboard onto the pizza stone. Bake for 10-12 minutes (slightly longer on the aluminum foil). Remove from oven, slice as desired and serve immediately.
Thanks Elizabeth for joining us once again! Your wonderful take on a nostalgic dish is making my mouth water. This is an especially fun recipe to introduce escargot to those who would otherwise refuse to try it, while giving us all the mushrooms we love- perfect!!
Be sure to take a look at what Elizabeth has cooking over on Guilty Kitchen, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!