recipes / Roasted Oysters with Shallots and Herbs
by NYC Editor, 01/26/2009
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Chef: Waldy Malouf
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken stock, vegetable broth or water
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Rock salt to roast the oysters on
- 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 24 oysters (see Note)
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Reduce the heat to low and add the shallots and wine or vermouth. Cover and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the stock and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and stir in the chives and parsley.
- Cover the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish large enough to hold all the oysters with rock salt. Sprinkle the peppercorns evenly over the salt. Open the oysters, discarding the top shell. Loosen the oysters from the bottom shell, being careful not to spill their juices, and lay them in the baking dish.
- Stir the shallot mixture and spoon some over each oyster. Roast until the edges of the oysters just begin to curl, about 5–8 minutes. Serve on the baking dish with lemon wedges.
Buying and Shucking Oysters
- For this recipe, you need to buy live oysters with unblemished shells. When opened, the meat should be pale (its color will vary, but avoid any that are pink), plump, glossy and should smell like fresh seawater. If they smell off, discard them.
- When you get the oysters home, scrub their shells in cold water with a brush. Store them flat on a baking sheet in the refrigerator, covered with a slightly damp paper towel, and use them within 2 days.
- If you plan to use the oysters immediately, you can have your fishmonger shuck the oysters for you—just ask him to reserve their juices so you can bring them home. Before roasting, strain the oyster juice and add a teaspoon of the juice to each oyster.
- To shuck live oysters yourself, insert a thin bladed knife (or oyster knife) into the joint, or 'foot' of the shell, and twist the blade to loosen the shell. Being careful not to spill the liquid, slide the knife along the top of the shell (not deeply enough to cut the oyster). Discard the upper shell and cut through the muscle holding the oyster to the bottom shell.
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