Raw Bar: Oysters on the Half Shell

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I’ve only recently started eating oysters on the regular. But, I quickly found that I love them – either raw or used in dishes, they are fantastic! Plus, we’ve had oysters several times since I’ve joined the Mermaid Garden, CSF, but this was the first weekend I decided to get them at home!

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This was a first for me in many ways, because although I’ve used them at home, they’ve always been pre-shucked and packed in their own liquor. And so, I got the opportunity to shuck fresh oysters! Boy, I was happy as a clam!

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These oysters are Montauk Pearls and from the Montauk Shellfish Company founded by Mike Doall and Mike Martinsen in 2009. Bianca and Mark of Mermaid Garden shared this great video behind the Montauk Shellfish Company – I recommend a watch… Plus it’s from Liza de Guia of Food Curated who I really admire! Can I just become an oyster harvester / farmer?

Now to shuck oysters, you’ll need a good hand towel for gripping and an oyster knife. I decided to pick up one from Amazon, a cool deal of two for the price of one!

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Shucking oysters can 1) be a little intimidating, 2) potentially dangerous and 3) a little damn hard!

It’s hard to explain how to shuck an oyster, but there’s a couple of great resources I found including this great illustration and this cute video! Baiscally, you want to dig into the hinge of the oyster until you’re able to pop the shell apart with your knife. I found it’s a little like opening a door with a key – after working your knife into the hinge, you turn or twist the knife to the right until it pops and then slowly work your knife around the oyster to pry the oyster shell apart.

Then just stick your knife on the underside of the oyster to detach it from the shell and you’re good to go!

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Also, be sure to wrap your hand and grip the oyster with the towel while trying to shuck… this should get 2) out of the way. And of course, practice, practice, practice. After a couple oysters, I got the hang out of! Plus, I got an awesome arm workout.

I’ll have another oyster post to bring you in a couple days, but in the meantime, I wanted to share my little raw bar in which I enjoyed my first set of oysters at home.

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Montauk Pearl Oysters on the Half Shell with Cider-Lime Mignonette

After shucking your oysters, set them atop ice to keep them chilled along with your accompaniments.

Mignonette sauce is a typical oyster accompaniment and consists of vinegar (in this case apple cider), minced shallots, lime and lots of black ground pepper. I also served mine with cocktail sauce and a little wedge of lemon.

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I loved these oysters, let me tell you! They were delicious and great with just a squeeze of lemon even. A little Mignonette or cocktail sauce paired lovely with them, but honestly they were great just plain!

I can’t wait until we get them again! I am a veritable oyster shucking master!

Cider-Lime Mignonette
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 1 each Sprig Thyme, leaves stripped and chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and serve.

  

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