RECIPE: ΝΕΜΕΑS’ STIFADO
SNAILS WITH ONIONS AND TOMATO SAUCE
- 1 Kg of boiled snails according to the guidance above
- 1,5 kg small onions
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 cup (tea size) of virgin olive oil
- 2 spoonfuls (soup size) of tomato paste
- 4 laurel leafs
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup (coffee size) vinegar
- ½ spoon (confectionery size) cumin (optional)
We put the dry and cleaned snails in a bowl with cold water and we leave them there for 15 minutes.
Afterwards, we put them in a colander and leave them under cold running water. Then, using our hands, we stir them gently and remove the epifragma (sealing) and any other remainder.
We cover the colander with a towel in order to prevent the snails from escaping and we leave them there for a few minutes until all of them start to move. We separate the snails that move from the snails that have not exited their shell. We check if these snails are alive, using a tooth pick to prick them. The snails that show no reaction are dead and must be immediately disposed.
After that we again wash the snails carefully with plenty of cold water for the complete removal of remainders and we put them in a pot with cold water, vinegar and salt. We put the pot on the heat and we notice the time when the water starts to boil , the snails try to climb the walls of the pot so as to escape the heat. We put them back inside the pot.
While the temperature rises a froth is created in the surface of the water.
We constantly remove the froth with a skimmer. After that we remove the snails, we put them in a colander, we wash them with cold water and we repeat the boiling with vinegar and salt 2 to 3 times until the froth evaporates. We drain the snails, wash them with cold water, dry them with the orifice down on an absorbing paper and then the boiled snails are ready for immediate consumption or they can be stored in the refrigerator or in the freezer for long preservation.
We put olive oil in a large pot, we add whole onions and we sauté them until they turn brown. Afterwards, we add the rest of the ingredients (garlic, cinnamon, tomato paste, laurel leafs, salt, pepper) and water so as to cover the onions. Then we boil them in a low heat for an hour. After that we add the snails and continue the boiling for another hour while, from time to time, we stir thoroughly. When the sauce becomes thick enough we add vinegar and cumin (optional), we mix the food and we remove it from the fire.
Our proposal for better results is that after the removal from the fire the food should stay in the pot for a few hours for better balance and “bonding” of tastes and ingredients. Then we are ready to serve.