More often than not, oysters obtain a “bad rapport” when served on their shell and eaten raw.
To oyster lovers, the entire ritual of preparation and presentation is essential to the entire experience: shucking the oysters, anointing with sauces, tilting the shells, stomaching the firm/slippery texture and gracefully placing the downturned shell back onto the plate…
#dropthemike with pride as you have displayed sophistication upon consuming said delicacy.
There is some intrinsic nature about an oyster that resists every attempt to worthily describe the shellfish.
Simply put… it is what it is.
While consuming raw oysters is an experience in and of itself, there are a multitude of people who cannot get past the idea/texture. One great aspect of food… if you do not care for how an item is prepared, it can often be prepared in another manner… allowing you to actually enjoy a different style of the same food. Brilliant… no?
In order to create texture for oysters, I will pair cooked oysters with “crunchy” produce.
For example. Oysters take minutes to cook. Three, to be exact. Because oysters can be both sweet and salty, I will often bring cream to a rolling boil, then drop the oysters into the bubbling froth. The cream will be quickly absorbed into the oyster skin, eliminating the excessive sweet/salty, “sea” taste. After about three minutes, the edges should begin to curl – indicating that the oyster has indeed been appropriately cooked (overcooking will create an unpleasant rubbery flavor and texture – justifying reason to shudder when thinking of consuming the delicate shellfish). A squeeze of lemon juice will aid in brightening the shellfish… a very small, yet necessary addition!
While the cream aided in eliminating the natural sweetness of the oyster, I still desire to maintain a hint of sweet; ergo, granny smith apple. Not only will the apple provide a crunch (to play with texture,) but a subtle pop to the entire dish. A few caramelized shallots and pearl onions will also contribute with a mild touch of sweet and crunch.
Thinly peeling a cucumber into long ribbons, then rolling into cylinders not only adds an aesthetically-pleasing appeal to the presentation, but a needed textural lift to compliment the oysters.
A touch of either crème fraiche or 0% Greek yogurt and caviar are the finishing touches to compliment the entire dish.
Simple. Refined. Elegant.
“I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.” - Madam Benoit
Love y’all! ♥