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Oysters on the Half Shell with Verjus Mignonette Sauce

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Serves two.

  • Make the menu:
    Classic Romance Menu
  • by Sam Hayward from Fine Cooking
    Issue 34

  • 1/2 tsp. grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. whole black peppercorns, preferably Tellicherry
  • 1/8 tsp. salt, preferably sea salt
  • 2 tsp. finely minced fresh shallot
  • 1/2 cup verjus
  • 1 Tbs. closely snipped fresh chives
  • 6-8 fresh oysters, scrubbed well

In a small, heavy-based skillet, heat the oil until very hot. Add the peppercorns, reduce the heat to medium low, and toast the peppercorns, swirling frequently, until aromatic, about 5 minutes. Pour the hot peppercorns onto a cutting board to cool. Using a blunt object (such as the bottom of a clean skillet or a meat mallet), crush the peppercorns coarsely but evenly. Put the crushed pepper into a nonreactive bowl and add the salt, shallot, and verjus. Stir well and then allow to steep for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator; the sauce will darken over time.

Shuck the oysters and leave them in their cupped shell halves, with their liquor. Arrange the oysters on a serving plate, stabilizing them with chipped ice or salt, if you like. Return the oysters to the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

Pour a little verjus sauce on the oysters and garnish with the snipped chives.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per oyster with 1/2 tsp. sauce; Calories (kcal): 20; Fat (g): 1.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 15; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 1; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Carbohydrates (g): 1; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 35; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: Judi Rutz

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