Potato Cake with Creamed Leeks and Escargots
The most convenient way to purchase snails is canned. Snailophobes should follow Chef John Neal’s suggestion to substitute bits of cooked meat or poultry for the snails; the more adventurous can try the original recipe.
- Tomato Sauce
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Onion - 1 medium, chopped
- Progresso Plum Tomatoes - 2 cans (28 ounces)
- Tomato Paste - 1/2 cup
- Dried Basil - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- Smoked Bacon - 4 slices ,diced
- Leeks - 2, white parts only, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Baking Potatoes - 3
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Escargots - 8, or 8 small pieces cooked meat or poultry
- Peanut Oil - 4 tablespoons
To make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil and saute the onions until soft. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. Set aside off the heat; keep warm.
To make the potato cakes: In a medium saute pan or skillet, cook the bacon for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook until tender. Add the cream and cook until thickened, about 9 minutes. Let cool.
When ready to serve, peel and grate the potatoes. Place on a kitchen towel; fold it up, twist, and squeeze out the moisture. Place the grated potatoes on a work surface an season with salt and pepper. Divide the potatoes in half and divide one half into 4 piles. Place one fourth of the chopped leeks on top of each pile. Divide the escargots among the 4 piles and cover each with the remaining potatoes. Pat each one down to make sure the filling is secure in each cake.
Over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet, heat the peanut oil. Carefully add potato cakes and cook until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the cakes over and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until browned.
To serve: Pool tomato sauce on each warmed serving plate. Place a potato cake on the sauce. Serve hot.