Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oysters with Mignonette Granité

By Roy Finamore
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Total: 10 mins, plus 8 hrs freezing and time to open the oysters

Active: 10 mins, plus time to open the oysters

Makes: About 1 cup (enough for 48 oysters)

Transforming a sharp mignonette sauce into icy shards certainly makes serving oysters with cocktails simpler. You garnish the oysters with the frozen sauce and make the rounds with a platter. No forks, no dipping—just a quick slurp.

What to buy: We liked small Kumamoto oysters with this dish, but any other variety will work. Plan on buying at least three oysters per person. The mignonette recipe makes plenty of granité for this many oysters, but if you’d like more, simply add up to 1/2 cup additional red wine vinegar to the recipe.

The raspberries in this dish add a punch of bright color to the mignonette granité. We highly recommend using them, but you could leave them out.

Game plan:
The acid in the vinegar causes slow freezing, so make this a day ahead.

This recipe was featured as part of our Neo-Classic Holiday Dinner menu.


1/2 cup raspberries (about 1/2 of a 6-ounce container)
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup minced shallots
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Pinch kosher salt
3 to 4 dozen oysters in their shells, scrubbed


Work raspberries through a mesh sieve with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to remove the seeds. (You should have about 2 tablespoons of purée.)

In a small bowl, combine raspberry purée with vinegar, shallots, and pepper. Season with a pinch of salt. Pour into a small container (a 2-cup-capacity Tupperware works great) and freeze for at least 8 hours, stirring once or twice with a fork.

When granité is completely frozen and guests are due to arrive soon, use an oyster knife to open the oysters. Loosen them from their shells, but leave them sitting in the bottom “cupped” side of the shell. Set them on a bed of ice to keep them cold and upright.

Right before serving, rake the mignonette with a fork and stir it, breaking any big, icy chunks into shards. Spoon about 1 teaspoon granité onto each oyster and serve. Keep additional mignonette granité in the freezer to top oysters as needed.

Beverage pairing: Gosset Brut Excellence Champagne, France. Oysters are good with any high-acid, racy white wine, but the delicate and pungent ice crystals of the granité will find their textural counterpart in the effervescence of Champagne. A Champagne in the brut style, such as this one, is dry enough to match the brininess of the oysters but still has the richness to be enjoyed on its own. Oysters with Mignonette Granité


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