Oysters, as you’ll inevitably be aware, are considered one of the world’s most luxurious foods. Low in fat, high in protein and handy in the bedroom, they are also considered a good alternative to meat given how rich in iron they are.
"Low in fat, high in protein and handy in the bedroom..."
But, for such a rarefied ingredient, oysters are often criminally mis-served. We at Gentleman’s Journal are on a mission of late to elevate everyone’s oyster experience — from how to look when eating them to what spirit to pair them with.
So, as this particular seafood is traditionally served with mignonette — a condiment to accompany raw oysters, we turned to Michelin-starred chef Steve Smith of the Bohemia Restaurant in Jersey, for his top tips of alternative serves. So throw your lemon juice and tabasco out of the window, for the culinary world is about to become your oyster…
Shell out for some tequila
“Liven up with your oysters with tequila!” says Smith. “A tequila lime mignonette can be easily made by mixing together 2 tablespoons of tequila, 2 tablespoons of lime, zest of half a lime, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot, 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander and a pinch of salt.
“Mix it all together then serve with freshly shucked oysters.”
Other fish to fry
“You do not have to eat oysters raw,” offers the Michelin-starred chef. “Fried oysters make a great snack! Cover your oysters in plain flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs then deep fry for 1-2 minutes until they are crispy.”
“Oysters and Champagne are a classic pairing,” says Smith, “so why not add some fizz to your mignonette?
“To create the mignonette, mix together Champagne vinegar, finely chopped shallots and cucumber, salt and pepper then allow to chill in the fridge. Add the Champagne to the mignonette just before serving.”
Butter them up
“If you want to keep the flavour minimal,” tempers Smith, “instead lightly warm the oyster through and simply serve with lemon juice. If you prefer a saltier flavour rather than sour, place a teaspoon of seaweed butter on top of each oyster and warm for 3-4 minutes.”
“For a truly indulgent oyster dish,” finishes the chef, “sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the oysters. Drizzle with melted butter and season with pepper then grill the oysters for 1 minute. Delicious!”
Fancy sampling the seafood in person? Why not book a table now at Bohemia…
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