Oysters on the Half Shell with a Champagne Mignonette – Day 12 of the 12 Days of Canapés – 2010

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
Crushed ice
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.

Serves 6.
Printable recipe

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2 Responses to Oysters on the Half Shell with a Champagne Mignonette – Day 12 of the 12 Days of Canapés – 2010

  1. Tracy says:

    We enjoyed oysters on the half shell yesterday. Nothing fancy, just a nice squeeze of lemon. I will have to make note of your mignonette for next time. I'm sure there will be many next times.

  2. Urszula Lipsztajn says:

    This sounds yummy! Great to meet you at Peter and Tannis’ place this weekend and talk The Drive and oysters. I’ll not only give these as try but the salted cookies too!

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