For this entry I chose a baked oysters recipe, you can find easily a wide selection of oysters from your fishmonger. Oysters is the festive food par excellence for this holiday season. Cooked oysters in the shell are an excellent way to accommodate a dinner entry thad change from usual raw oysters.
Find oyster varieties that suit you best. Take a medium size, number 2 or 3 (the smaller the number, the bigger the oyster), a good short and rigid oyster knife (I stick to OXO for myself!), and protect your hands!
The organization: open oysters at least one hour in advance and drain the “first water” out (very salty). Set oysters fitting snugly on a plate and leave them in a cool place (not refrigerator). They will produce a second water (finer in taste) from which we will prepare the sauce.
Along oyster water we use seaweed butter for the sauce. Seaweed butter is found in all good cheesemongers. It brings a incomparable subtlety and iodized taste to the sauce, but it is not mandatory! You can just use a quality nature butter nature.
Alternatively, there is algae flakes in organic grocery stores or Asian grocery stores. I even saw some of these at the fish department of my supermarket. Just add a teaspoon of seaweed flakes in your sauce. Be careful not overdoing because it can ruin the sauce if you put too much.
Ingredients: Baked oysters with seaweed butter sauce
Serves 4 :
- 2 dozen oysters (N°2 or 3)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup (10 cl) dry white wine
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
- 1/2 cups (10 cl) of cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 lbs (1 kg) of coarse salt (to wedge oysters)
Open the oysters one hour in advance. Drain the first water. Prop them on a plate and let cool (not refrigerated).
Then retrieve the second oyster water by filtering it through a sieve. Pour into a saucepan. Add the white wine, lemon juice, butter and finely chopped shallot. Reduce over high heat. It should remain as much as two tablespoons of liquid. Add cream, pepper, then remove from heat, add the egg yolk. Let thicken slowly over low heat: at this point, the sauce should not boil over. Book.
Turn your oven on grill position to 430° F (220 °c).
Prepare your plates. Place a bed of coarse salt on each. This will serve to maintain the warm oysters when serving.
Drain all the remaining water in oysters then place them on the oven grid. Divide the sauce into each oyster (about 1 teaspoon per oyster). Pass them under the grill for about 2 minutes while monitoring the color so not to over heat.
Place the baked oysters on the beds of coarse salt and serve immediately.
Food and wine pairing:
You can accompany this baked oysters recipe with the same Champagne as an aperitif. Otherwise, I propose to associate these oysters with a dry white Chablis or Pouilly Fuisse, Sancerre or a Quincy, an Entre-Deux-Mers or Graves white.
(Image Dominique Sauvages)