So here we are at day 12. I have absolutely enjoyed working with these hors d’oeuvres over the last days and think I may need to make this an annual event here.
We just arrived home from a wonderful pre-Christmas dinner with Glen’s family in Squamish where Glen’s brother Peter and his girlfriend Tanis put on a really wonderful meal. I am, however, now in the middle of a full-on turkey coma and am heading straight to bed so this last post will be a short one.
Oysters on the half shell are fresh, seasonal and surprisingly interactive at parties. Put out a few oyster knives, a cutting board or two and a pile of dish towels and demo how to open a few of these bivalves and soon everyone is willing to give it a go. If you don’t know how to properly shuck and oyster just ask your local fish monger to show you. Though not difficult it is a bit of a finesse move and really is all in the wrist.
My sweet friend Jeannot loves fresh oysters more than anyone I know and he absolutely disapproves of eating them with cocktail sauce or fresh shaved horseradish (which I love) but he will allow a small drizzle of a mignonette or a few drops of lemon juice.
I think this Champagne mignonette served with some very fresh local oysters (I served Skookums, Royal Miyagis and Kushi oysters) is particularly festive. Shuck about a dozen at a time and keep well chilled by serving on some crushed ice.
Oysters on the Half Shell with Champagne Mignonette
24 oysters, rinsed well to remove any dirt or sand
1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
Zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
Freshly ground black peppercorns
Fine grain sea salt
Lemon wedges to serve
To make the mignonette, place the vinegar, lemon zest, shallot and ground pepper in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt. Place a small spoon in the sauce and set aside.
Line a serving platter with crushed ice and open 12 oysters at a time. Lay the shucked oysters on the bed of crushed ice, nestle the lemon wedges around the oyster and serve with the mignonette sauce.