It’s an “R” Month, Bring on the Oysters
IN RECENT YEARS, my foodie friends and I are just seeking a little peace and quiet as we end one year and start the new year after a hectic season of overeating and overindulging at holiday parties.
We traditionally end the old year with an oyster “every kind of way” feast. If the weather cooperates, we stage this soppy event outside.
Creamy oyster stew (June 2015), oysters Rockefeller, baked oysters Mosca style, grilled charbroiled oysters, (June 2015), and of course, the simplicity of raw and salty and on the half shell. I may need to add Christina Baldwin’s recipe for baked oysters with chorizo and fennel to our repertoire this year (February 2015).
We all chip in and purchase a couple of sacks of oysters, dust off the oyster shucking equipment, line up the outdoor tables, and make sure that we have adequate amounts of lemon, horseradish, ketchup and Worcestershire. I also like to eat the raw oysters with a homemade Mignonette sauce, comme les francais. A Mignonette consists primarily of fresh chopped shallot, mixed peppercorns, dry white wine and lemon juice or sherry vinegar and sometimes a touch of excellent olive oil. Uglesich’s in New Orleans used to serve them this way. Salty and cold with this perfectly balanced not too spicy sauce that enhances the complex flavors of the Louisiana oyster.
Oh and don’t forget the champagne and beer. Or, my favorite, a slightly chilled Sancerre wine from the Loire valley. These are the perfect accompaniments for the briny bivalves and for toasting the New Year. This is health food isn’t it? Or healthy food if we choose raw oysters that are not smothered in butter and breadcrumbs.
Oysters are an excellent source of zinc, iron, calcium and selenium, as well as vitamin A and B12 and they are rich in protein. And we all know that oysters are considered to be an aphrodisiac. “Eat oysters, love longer.”
Please check the references to the Foodies and Friends archives listed above for more recipes online. For more recipes and blog posts from Jan, please visit SophisticatedWoman.com/foodies-friends.
1–2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 stalks celery
1 bunch parsley
1/3 head lettuce
1.5 sticks butter
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
Dash of hot sauce
1.5 tablespoons absinthe
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
3–4 dozen oysters and shells
Preheat oven to 450 F. Place spinach, green onions, celery, parsley and lettuce in blender or Cuisinart and blend until smooth. Place softened butter and ¼ cup of breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl. Stir in pureed greens. Add Worcestershire, anchovy paste, hot sauce, absinthe and salt. Mix thoroughly. Remove oysters from shell and drain. Place oyster shells, or SOS shells, on rock salt in shallow metal pan. Place oysters in shell and spread 2 tablespoons of sauce or more over each oyster. Top each one with a sprinkle of cheese and remaining breadcrumbs. Bake until bubbling and browned.