Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Allure of Char-Grilled Oysters

Re-printed by Seduction Meals.com. Visit their website here:

A recipe from one of the best restaurants in New Orleans:

A favorite of food lovers throughout the world, oysters carry a long standing reputation as the ultimate aphrodisiac-- said to increase one's libido when eaten raw.

Many a romantic gourmand has thrived on eating raw oysters and sipping a glass of wine or champagne with lascivious visions of the glory to come. It's no wonder that Casanova, one of the World's most notorious lovers, would start each meal with a dozen oysters to set the stage for his evening's conquest.

And the mere notion of Aphrodite the Greek Goddess of Love, emerging from the sea on an oyster shell firmly plants the oyster as a bewitching charm to be reckoned with--a true elixir of love.

While the best oysters should be eaten raw, there are wonderful oyster dishes that provide a completely different taste from raw oysters.

I was recently given a great gift -The 86 New Orleans - a recipe box filled with 86 recipes from some of the best restaurants in New Orleans--one of my all time favorite cities.

I love the people, the food and the myriad of restaurants in New Orleans. To celebrate this glorious city and one of the most revered aphrodisiacs--the oyster, I have selected this recipe to share as a tribute to both.

Shucking an Oyster:

Before shucking, scrub the shell with a stiff brush and rinse under cold water to remove all sand and grit. You will find a "hinge" at one end of an oyster. Take a good sharp knife, preferably a sturdy oyster knife, and insert this into the hinge. Apply pressure to pry the top and bottom shell apart until you hear the hinge pop. Take the knife and slide it pointing upwards being careful not to scrape the roof. Your goal is to cut the muscle that connects the two shells, slicing through this connective muscle. You can now separate the top and bottom shells.

Char-grilled Oysters with Roquefort Cheese and Red-Wine Vinaigrette
by: Chef Scott Snodgrass / One Restaurant & Lounge in New Olreans

1 cup of crumbled Roquefort cheese
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of chopped shallots
1 green onion, sliced
1/8 cup of honey
1 cup of red wine vinegar
1/2 cup of pure olive oil (not extra virgin olive oil)
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon of ground black pepper
12 - 18 oysters on the half shell

Combine all ingredients, except oysters, in a mixing bowl. Put oysters on the half shell, over a hot charcoal fire. I placed the oysters on a fish/vegetable rack to keep them even on a tray. It is also easy to move them on and off the grill this way. Top each oyster with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and cook until edges of the oysters start to curl, about 2 minutes.

Plating the Dish:

Place a mound of rock salt (about 1 cup) on a salad plate and top with 3 - 6 oysters on the shell per person.
Serve with your favorite white wine or a glass of champagne.



Monday, January 12, 2009

Chili Fried Gulf Oysters

Mexican Oyster Dish:

by: Brennan’s of Houston


3 Cups Chili Corn Sauce Vegetable oil
3 Cups Texas sweet potatoes, julienned
¾ Cup cornmeal or "masa harina" corn flour
¾ Cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Creole seafood seasoning, divided evenly
and 36 Texas oysters (VA oysters for substitute).

Prepare Chili Corn Sauce; reserve and keep warm.

Heat about 2 inches of oil to 325°F in a deep fat fryer. Fry sweet potatoes until crisp, drain on paper towels and reserve. Combine cornmeal, flour and 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning in a medium bowl.

Season oysters with remaining tablespoon of seafood seasoning, dredge in flour mixture, and fry in batches of 9 oysters at a time until crisp. Remove oysters and sprinkle with a little extra seafood seasoning; drain on paper towels on a rack. keep warm.

Ladle ½ cup Chili Corn Sauce in center of each plate. Edge sauce with 6 oysters. Top the sauce with a mound of fried sweet potatoes.

Chili Corn Sauce:

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ Cup Texas onion, julienned
¾ Cup Texas poblano pepper, julienned
¾ Cup Texas red pepper, julienned
1-1/2 Cups fresh Texas corn kernels
½ Cup tequila
1-1/2 Cups whipping cream
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder
Salt and black pepper

Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, poblano and red peppers, and corn; sauté until vegetables are tender. Deglaze pan with tequila and cook until liquid is reduced by half.

Add cream, cumin, chili powder; cook until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve and keep warm until ready to use.

A Texas Semillon or Sauvignon Blanc is a great accompaniment to this spicy dish.