Half Shell, Whole Lot of Awesome

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If you have never bought oyster outside of a raw bar or fancy restaurant bring them home, shucking, dressing, and serving them can feel a little intimidating, but with a little primer, you will be a master in no time. They are perfect for a party (eh, hem, Thanksgiving) because of their light bright qualities are a great way to kick off what can be a heavier meal. And they will leave your guest thinking the only thing that would be more impressive would be pearls on their plates. ...

Okay let’s start with picking the right oyster. The key is freshness and our fish mongers have that covered. Our oysters are flown in near daily from both East Coast and West Coast varieties. From there your personal preference on salinity is something to consider next, not sure which is sweeter and which is saltier, just ask and our Partners will be happy to help.

Once you have a few briny bivalves in hand, head straight home! You’re going to want to put them straight into the fridge in a bowl and simply cover them with a damp cloth. They can stay in your fridge for 2 or 3 days without issue. Then shuck them right before you are ready to enjoy. When it comes to shucking, don’t try to do it without an oyster knife. Then point the knife towards the hinge and wiggle until the seal gives way. Bon Appetit has a great shucking tutorial with photos of every step if you need a little more help.

Next make sure you serve your oysters in style. We love a simple metal tray full of crushed ice and salt, make your tray then refreeze until you are ready to use it.

Now you need all the accoutrements: lemon wedges, horseradish, mignonette sauce, and freshly ground pepper. Think of a mignonette like a pimped-out squeeze of fresh lemon. The French make Mignonette with shallots and vinegar, but of course we mix it up to suit our region and your tastes. The goal is to have the right balance of acidity and sweetness to set off the oyster’s unique creamy texture and ocean flavor. A simple recipe would follow:

  • 1/4 cup acid – red wine vinegar is the classic, but lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or champagne vinegar would work
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion or tart fruit – here shallot is the go-to, but try Granny Smith apple or scallions
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Then feel free to get creative and add a pinch of sugar, finely grated ginger, or even a little flavored oil

Whisk together and let it hang out for at least 30 minutes. Spoon a teaspoon or so on top of each opened oyster. Serve very cold.

Last thing you need is something to enjoy these oysters with and bubbles should be your go to. Try either Charles Ellner Brut NV an expressive blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier with fresh fruit and floral notes. This Brut, rated 91 points by Wine Spectator, makes a lovely lead-in to your meal just like oysters or Cielo Prosecco a perfect, highly versatile prosecco. Delightfully effervescent with bright citrus flavors and a clean dry finish.

Okay y’all, now get out there and get shucking.

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