Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Whelk Kebabs with Herbed Oil



  • Equipment: Cedar or bamboo skewers; foil grill shield
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  • 3 dozen fresh whelks (sea snails)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh red pepper flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Step 1: Soak the whelks in fresh water to purge.

Step 2: In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the whelks and boil for 30 minutes. Drain and let cool. Using kitchen tweezers or a fork, remove the meat from the spiral shells. Slice off the hard operculum and discard any bits of the hood or intestinal tract that are clinging to the meat.

Step 3: Thread the meat on skewers leaving enough skewer exposed to make a handle.

Step 4: Make the herbed oil: Combine the olive oil, garlic, chives, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 5: Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Lay the grill shield on one edge of the grill and arrange the skewers on the grill grate; protect the handles by laying them over the grill shield.

Step 6: Brush the kebabs with the herbed oil. Grill the kebabs until nicely browned, about 6 minutes total. (Remember, the snails have been precooked so they won’t take long on the grill.) Before serving, brush the kebabs one final time with the herbed oil. Serve immediately.

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