Unique Variations of Escargot

There are a couple of things that we almost always order at restaurants when we’re traveling if we happen to find them on the menu. One of them is escargot, which not everyone enjoys, but it is certainly a favorite of ours. Occasionally they are served in their shells, but often they are served on a special baking dish specifically designed to nestle the escargot in their own little cavity. We have had them in many different locations throughout Europe where they are more popular than they are here in the United States.

Escargot at a French Bistro
Cheese Covered Escargot

The most traditional way to have them is baked in butter with lots of garlic and herbs. As good as the actual snail is to eat, the real treat is dunking bread into each of the little holes to soak up the garlic butter. It is a little decadent, but well worth the calories. On a couple of occasions we had them where they were covered in cheese as well, which we found to be an interesting take on them.

Snails and Potato Cakes
Gruyere Covered Snails for an Extra Cheesy Treat

Since we don’t always find them on menus, when we do it is almost a guarantee that we will order them. It isn’t something that we’ve ever cooked for ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t try it in the future. For those that have never tried escargot, we would highly recommend that you don’t let the thought of eating a snail deter you from trying this delicacy.

Escargot in Heidelberg, Germany
Classic Escargot

Tuscan Chicken with Green Beans and Bacon

We have enjoyed many different styles of chicken dishes throughout our travels. Tuscany is known for its cooking and use of fresh ingredients, so we decided to create a Tuscan style chicken for dinner recently. Butterflying the chicken, technically called spatchcocked, is a great way to reduce the cooking time and still giving a crispy skin. Also, making an herb butter and spreading it underneath the skin and directly on the meat will also make sure that the chicken is moist and tender. We also sautéed some green beans with bacon to have with the chicken, which complimented the chicken extremely well. We decided to cook the chicken in a cast-iron skillet in the oven, but it works equally well on the grill. It truly was a wonderful meal.

Softened Butter with Herbs


  • 1 Whole Chicken – spatchcocked
  • 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter – softened
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary – chopped
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme – stems removed
  • 1 clove Roasted Garlic – minced (unroasted garlic is fine)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 lb Green Beans – trimmed
  • 4 slices Bacon – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Green Beans and Bacon


To spatchcock the chicken, take a sharp knife or scissors and remove the backbone of the chicken by cutting down either side of the spine. Then flip the chicken over so that the interior is exposed and remove the breastbone by sliding the knife between the bone and the meat. This will allow the chicken to lay flat inside of the skillet. In a bowl, combine the butter, rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Using your fingers, separate the skin from the meat and spread about two-thirds of the butter over the breast meat. Spread the final third of butter over the exterior of the skin. Place the chicken in a cast-iron skillet and roast in an oven heated to 500 degrees. Cook the chicken for 30 to 40 minutes or until an internal thermometer reads 165 degrees. While the chicken is cooking, place the green beans in boiling water for about two to three minutes to blanch them and then immediately place them in ice water to shock them and cool them down. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes while the beans are finishing. Heat the vegetable oil to medium-high heat in a skillet and add the green beans, bacon, seasoning the beans with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 10 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Carve the chicken and serve with the green beans and bacon.

Roasted Chicken
Spatchcocking (Butterflying) the Chicken
Chicken Lays Flat for Even Cooking
Herbs and Butter
The Finished Dinner
Look at How the Herbs Melt Into the Chicken Breast

Sautéed Shrimp with a Pumpkin-Sage Butter

During the autumn season, we are always looking for creative ways to use seasonal products such as pumpkin. Mixing butter with pumpkin and sage is a savory way to give flavor to seafood, especially shrimp or scallops. We decided to sauté shrimp with the infused butter and it made for a delicious meal. Not only was it tasty, but it turned the shrimp a nice orange color was perfect for this time of year. The shrimp could be served over rice or even buttered pasta to make it a wonderful meal.

Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp


  • 1 1/2 lbs Raw Shrimp – medium size, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) Softened Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Canned Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Sage – chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Lemon – cut in half


In a bowl or food processor, combine the softened butter, pumpkin, sage, and salt.  Whisk or pulse until smooth.  Add a 1/2 tablespoon of butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1/3 of the shrimp to the skillet, making sure that the shrimp aren’t crowded, and cook until pink, about 2 to 4 minutes.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin-sage butter and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Remove the shrimp from skillet and repeat the steps until all of the shrimp has been cooked.  Serve warm or at room temperature with picks.

Pumpkin-Sage Butter

Sauté Shrimp

Stir in Pumpkin-Sage Butter

Shrimp Sautéed in Pumpkin-Sage Butter