Oysters with a Champagne Mignonette
I think I might win some sort of world record for the person who loves oyster the most. It would be a close race with my girlfriend Gaile Guevara; together we'd take the lead in any oyster eating competition. Does such a thing exist?
Several weeks ago we slurped six dozen (six dozen!) of these slippery little suckers out of their half shell, deliciously covered in a squeeze of lemon, champagne mignonette and a pile of freshly grated horseradish. We stopped only because Cork and Fin was about to close and a meal of oysters and clam diggers (similar to a caesar) was leaving us light in our heads.
I figured that before I set off to sea to sail to the west coast's Gulf Islands tomorrow, I should probably treat myself to a few little oysters on the half shell.
As any of you know who follow my blog I have just set foot back in Canada after drinking mojitos in Cuba and margaritas in Mexico. And here I am, taking off again. I know, it's crazy! It also seems like the perfect reason to celebrate how great life can be, with a glass of champagne in hand, of course.
This simple champagne mignonette is the perfect condiment to fresh shucked oysters.
- 12 oysters, shucked
- 1/4 cup champagne
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 teaspoons shallots, finely chopped
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Lemon wedges, optional
- Freshly grated horseradish, optional
- Crushed ice, to keep oysters cool
- Combine champagne, vinegar, shallots and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
- Arrange shucked oyster on a plate covered with crushed ice. Serve with champagne mignonette and optional lemon wedges and horseradish.
- Enjoy, preferably with a glass of champagne!
Always choose oysters that are firmly closed. Discard any that are opened or have a pungent smell when opened.
To shuck an oyster, hold it firmly with a tea towel with the narrow end towards you. Using an oyster shucker or a cheap knife, put pressure on the tip where the top and bottom shells come together. You may have to wiggle the knife a little before it releases. Once the shell releases, gently run the knife around the edges then slide the knife over the roof of the top shell to release the membrane.
Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away. It takes practice. Trust me.
Watch out for any small bits of shell that might have broken off, you definitely don’t want to eat these.
Make sure you don’t use your good knives, it will break the tips off of them for sure!