If you’re going to be in Ireland between September 21st and 25th, you should head over to Galway, where they will have their 59th annual Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival. If you’re going to be hanging around the south part of the UK between October 10th and 13th, you better check out the Falmouth Oyster Festival.
Both internationally recognized festivals are all about oysters. There will be wine, local ale, games, celebrity chefs, and, of course, oysters. Lots and lots of it. If you can’t make it to either festival, don’t feel bad. You can have your own little festival at home! Just take a gander at the following 5 oyster recipes that will bring you smack dab in the middle of either festival!
3 bacon rashers, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp double cream
12 oysters, ask your fishmonger to open them for you
lemon wedges, to serve
Heat a frying pan and add the bacon. Fry gently in its own fat until browned, then add the breadcrumbs and brown them briefly.
In a bowl, mix the Worcestershire sauce with the cream and then divide it between the oysters. Season well and then top each with some of the bacon and breadcrumb mixture. Grill until brown and crisp and serve with lemon wedges.
Warmed Oysters with Chive Sauce
4 oysters on the half shell, juices reserve
1 pound rock salt
½ stick butter
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
A good handful of chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
A handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Place the oysters on the half shell on a bed of rock salt in a heat-proof shallow dish. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce until the sauce is syrupy. Stir in the chopped chives, lemon juice, and oyster juices. Divide the mixture between the oysters and place the dish under the grill for two minutes.
Scatter some chopped parsley over the oysters and serve immediately.
Galway Bay Fried Oysters
6 large shucked oysters
1 1/2 pints stout, preferably Guinness
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 pinch seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
Marinate the oysters in the beer for 30 minutes or more.
Heat a few inches of oil in a large saucepot to 350 degrees F. Combine the flour, seafood seasoning, salt and pepper. Dredge the marinated oysters in the flour, and then shallow-fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Smoked Cornish Native Oysters
3 Primrose Herd Ham Hocks, soaked in cold water for a couple of hours
12 Cornish Native Oysters
1 handful of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsp pink peppercorns, soaked in cold water over night
1 Handful of Finely Chopped Parsley
Method (the night before..)
Put the ham hocks into a saucepan and cover with fresh water. Add the roughly chopped vegetables, thyme and bay leaf, then put over medium heat and bring to the boil.
The night before:
Put the ham hocks into a saucepan and cover with fresh water. Add the roughly chopped vegetables, thyme and bay leaf, then put over medium heat and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender. This will take 2 to 3 hours. Remove the ham hocks from the ‘stock’ and set aside to cool, until they are cool enough to handle. Strain the stock and then reduce by two thirds. Pass through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Cool then refrigerate, until the next day.
Pick the meat from the ham hocks and chop. Place in the fridge, covered and save for the next day.
The following day:
Shuck your oysters and set them in the half shell, flesh side up, over a rack, set above a roasting tray with a handful of smoking chips and 1 tbsp of tea leaves in the base of the tray. Cover with foil and place over high heat until smoke starts to seep out from under the foil. Turn the heat down and smoke for about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Take the fat off the top of the set ham stock and place in a saucepan. If it has not set solid, soften 2 leaves of gelatine in cold water. Add any liquor off the smoked Cornish Native Oysters to the ham stock, then place over low heat to melt. Check the seasoning. Once the stock is hot, add the softened gelatine, if you need to, stir to melt then cool to room temperature.
Mix the chopped ham hock meat with the chopped parsley and pink peppercorns
Line a terrine mold with cling film, or use small dariole molds if you prefer
Place half the ham hock mix into the mold, then layer a row of the smoked oysters down the middle. Top with the rest of the ham mix.
Pour over the ham stock to cover then set in the fridge until cold and set solid.
To serve, cut into slices and accompany with pickles and rustic bread.
½ cup butter
24 oz fresh shucked oysters, undrained
1 cup minced celery
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons minced shallots
1 qt half-and-half cream
1 pinch cayenne pepper
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the celery and shallots until shallots are tender.
Pour half-and-half into a large pot over medium-high heat. Mix in the butter, celery, and shallot mixture. Stir continuously. When the mixture is almost boiling, pour the oysters and their liquid into the pot. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Stir continuously until the oysters curl at the ends. When the oysters curl the stew is finished cooking; turn off the heat and serve.
This article was written by Simon, a professional blogger working for Nigella.