Do you know which type of Oyster is best for cooking? What about the flavor differences between the numerous types of Oysters? How do you shuck Oysters? And should you swallow them whole or chew them? No matter if you are an Oyster lover or simply itching to give them a try, the Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook by Jairemarie Pomo will enlighten you on everything you want and need to know about Oysters, including details on how to purchase oysters, how to shuck them, and proper oyster eating etiquette. Jairemarie provides all of this in an interesting, entertaining, and informative narrative of the essential, and simply intriguing, details about Oysters.
The Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook also presents a collection of wonderful oyster recipes both for those whose passions lie with raw Oysters and those who prefer them cooked. Raw oyster recipes for various toppings to complement the raw oyster range from traditional mignonette sauce to the more exotic Oysters with cucumber, lime and Sake. If you prefer cooked oysters, or just want to give something different a try, you'll be tantalized by the many hot oyster recipes. These recipes include traditional preparations including Oysters Rockefeller, chowder, and Po' Boys, as well as recipes from Chef's Alice Waters, Bobby Flay and others. One example is the visually stunning and highly appetizing "Crispy Oysters with Mango Sauce and Red Horseradish" from Chef Bobby Flay. As Jairemarie says "I've actually seen people lick the bottom of the shell to get the last drop" - Yum!
Crispy Oysters with Mango Sauce and Red Horseradish
Reprinted with permission from The Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook by Jairemarie Pomo. Photograph by Leigh Beisch. Copyright 2007. Published by Ten Speed Press.
Hot, hot, and sweet is the best description for chef Bobby Flay's Southwestern oyster appetizer. The mango sauce balances the snappy chili horseradish that tops each delectable cornmeal-crusted oyster. It's more than just a combination of wonderful spices: The colors in each shell look like a New Mexico sunset.
If you can't find fresh horseradish, prepared horseradish is fine, as long as you drain off some of the liquid. The mango sauce is so good that I've actually seen people lick the bottom of the shell to get the last drop. Serve the leftover sauce in a bowl alongside the appetizers so an extra dollop can be spooned on top.
- 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped red onion
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For The Mango Sauce: In a food processor, combine all the sauce ingredients except the salt and pepper. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- 1/4 cup freshly grated horseradish
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 20 small (3 to 4 inches) Pacific oysters, shucked and drained, cupped bottom shells reserved
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
For The Horseradish: In a small bowl, combine the horseradish and chili powder; stir to blend.
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Scrub the oyster shells, dry, and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes to preheat the shells, which will be used to serve the oysters.
In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, cayenne, salt, and pepper and blend well. Drop 10 oysters at a time into the cornmeal and, using your hands, toss gently to coat. Shake off the excess coating and put the oysters on a plate.
In a medium sauté pan or skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Fry 10 oysters at a time for 30 seconds on each side or until slightly browned, being careful not to overcook. Repeat with the remaining oysters. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Put 1 teaspoon mango sauce into each warmed shell. Place a cooked oyster on top of the sauce. Top with 1/4 teaspoon of the red horseradish and sprinkle with the minced cilantro. Serve immediately.
Makes 20; serves 4 as a hearty appetizer
About Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook
Seductive but standoffish, oysters ask that you get to know them a little before you can really enjoy them. How do you choose from among the dozens of varieties? How do you handle, shuck, and store them? Are they better cooked or raw? And are they really an aphrodisiac? Full of alluring recipes from topflight chefs, plus tasting notes and wine and beer pairing tips, the authoritative and accessible Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook demystifies these enigmatic bivalves and provides the insider's scoop on serving them at home as well as ordering them in an oyster bar.
Get The Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook: A Guide to Choosing and Savoring Oysters, with 40 Recipes at:
Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.