Oysters – Happy valentines day

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I just love oysters but the most delicious are the unexpected moment ones, if you know what I mean.
My Christmas Oyster from Luuk
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For instance yesterday Monday 13 whilst shopping for the first time in 3 days , due to the icy pavements in Amsterdam .at Marqt my corner shop
I saw some Irish oysters looking at me, and knowing that oysters are really at their best in winter I asked the fishmonger if he would open them for me! as my hands are not as good as they where in cuisine days. He willingly did so and instead of taking them home I slurped them up Monday morning around 12.00 Top . The taste remained with me for a long time
I was actually buying a piece of Skrie for my diner , this is of the cod family and found for only a short period at your fishmonger, it has a very special taste due to the fact that it swims deep along the coast of Norway on its journey from the Barantszee to Loften in Norway
It is a line caught fish
It has firm flesh with a wonderful flavour, I had a nice chunky piece which I fried skin side down, then draped a few very thin slices of streaky bacon over the flesh a few turns of pepper , then I popped it in a hot oven 180 I guess until just cooked, that and a sliced portobello quickly fried with some chicory and some wilting coriander was my delicious diner..not bad and it’s only Monday.
Now to get back to the oysters
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Places I remember
My first warm oysters where eaten with Riquette Gueipin in a small bistro in France
The recipe I will give you
Then oysters in New Orleans in the beginning of the 80’s at Emirils , a then and still famous chef . I cannot quite remember how they where served probably Rockefeller if with shallots and red wine vinegar.
Then I once ate a huge 20 year old oyster as a dare in Seattle , they are normally no bigger than a teacup , this was a dessert plate size, that was not a good idea I tell you…
Then on a sailing boat trip with ladies only in Ireland , I have a nose for finding food and whilst walking along the quay my radar nose found oysters and the most delicious hand dived coquilles .
We returned with our catch to the boat and had a feast. It was lovely to show my fellow sailors how to clean and prepare the coquilles and oysters
On that trip we even line caught mackerel, managed to kill them, then sitting on the bows I filleted them, with my special knife I always had with me! and we ate it raw .
The most memorable time was near Archichon, I was in a corset for 6 months for my back and my companion Maarten- Jan lifted me into the sea to swim and then we ate at a seaside restaurant, with a warm breeze ruffling our wet sea hair , at least 24 oysters could it be each. But they are good for you and where once food for the poor as I am sure you will know.
However mans greed ruined many oyster beds and now they are a delicacy
The moral of this story is just eat them when you feel like it.. Even on Mondays
Happy Valentines day
That’s why I loved my Cuisine so much, being able to pass on my knowledge and passion for food and cooking to others
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Poached wild oysters with a champagne sabayon sauce or a white wine sauce How to open and serve oystersEquipment:1 strong oyster knife 1 oyster glove or thick tea towelTypes :
• Creuzes of wild oysters
• Fines de Claire: an excellent sort wild oyster/fine Claire is a wild oyster grown in natural habitat.
• Ballons: are cultivated round oysters and come in different sizes
4 persons Ingredients: 3 to oysters p.p.
1 glass white wine
a bouquet of herbs
2 young leeks(this is facultative )
25g butter 2 shallots2 glasses of champagne 6 egg yolks salt and pepperMethod:
Open the oysters carefully,(retaining the juices ) remove the oyster from the shell, rinse to remove any pieces of shell and set apart. Pour the liquid from the oyster into a sieve and collect the juices. Cut a cross in the top of the leeks and wash well to remove any sand, cut the leeks into a fine julienne, wash and dry well. Melt the butter in a pan, add the leeks and toss well in the butter, cover with a buttered paper and allow to cook without coloring. Heat the white wine in a pan with the bouquet of herbs and a glass of water
Lay the oysters in the pan and poach very carefully over very low heat. Remove the oysters from the poaching juices and keep warm between two plates. Place the oyster juices in a bowl au bain marie, add the champagne, egg yolks, and the very finely chopped shallot, beat continually with a balloon whisk over a low heat until thick and mousse like, season to taste. Lay the cleaned oyster shells on a baking sheet, to keep them straight put mounds of sea salt on the baking sheet first.Divide the leeks over the shells place on the oysters, spoon over the sauce. Preheat the grill and flash grill the oysters until a brown crust appears. Serve immediately