As we seemed to have crept up on a freeze warning for tonight I am reminded of what lies ahead for us from the sea…oysters of course so I am collecting some of my favorite recipes for the season and several from one or two guests chefs.
“What can be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth could come by chance when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster!”
Having been beaten down with a nasty cold I wasn’t into cooking much this past week, but one must eat and I decided to spoil myself just a little. Today was fantastic once I discovered one last container of homemade chicken stock in the freezer the start of my own personal cure, acini de pepe chicken soup with fresh tomato, grated Romano and pepper, I was feeling a little better by 3:00. So much better (guaranteed for a short period of time as I have learned with this variety of cold), I then began thinking of something light for dinner oh and did I spy those shucked plump oysters that I so thoughtfully froze last month.
Briny sweetness from very cold NC waters the oysters were as good as fresh, frozen in their liquor in small glass jars and ready once defrosted and drained for my dinner of oysters Bourguignonne in the shell. Really a pretty simple recipe and you can use any substitutes that you have on hand when it comes to the herbs, shallots, and pancetta. Breadcrumbs, fresh, dried, or panko crumbs can be used, but lightly toasted is recommended.
I had at least 9 big oysters, made a butter “sauce” incorporating sautéed minced pancetta, 1 shallot, 1 small clove of garlic, parsley, thyme and tarragon. Deglazed with champagne and thickened with a bit of flour (roux cooked down for about 1-1/2 minutes), add the oyster liquor and spoon over raw oysters in the shell, top with toasted crumbs and bake at 375° for 7-10 minutes until the oysters curl a bit and all hot and bubbly. Sprinkle with a little parsley and squeezes of fresh lemon.
The cooking time is not set in stone…7 minutes was not enough for me and I baked for an additional 3 minutes, perfect.