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Fresh Oysters with Cucumber Mignonette

Serves 2 to 4


    Many factors influence the taste and texture of oysters; from the farming methods and geography of where they’re raised, to water salinity, temperature, diet, and of course the length of time they’ve been out of the ocean before they’re on your plate. It’s not surprising that my favorite oyster farm happens to be where I’m from, D’Eon Oyster Company in Nova Scotia. There are hundreds of oyster varieties in the United States alone and I recommend visiting an oyster farm if you have an opportunity. Many farms host summer events and there’s nothing like a freshly shucked oyster with a glass of bubbly on a hot day. Oysters are versatile and can be eaten raw, pickled, fried, grilled, or even poached. Eating them raw with just a little bit of mignonette on top is classic. The vinegar mixes with the oyster’s brine and together it’s a perfect combination.



    Fresh Oysters with Cucumber Mignonette


      Special equipment: oyster knife, kitchen towel
      • 24 small to medium oysters
      • 1/2 c shallots
      • 1/2 c cucumber
      • 2 c dry white wine
      • 1/4 c white cane sugar
      • 1 1/2 c champagne vinegar
      • 1 Tbsp cracked peppercorns



      Buy oysters raised in cold waters that have been out of the water for, at most, only a couple days. Wash the shell with a soft brush and cold water; remove sand, mud, and any loose particles.


      For the mignonette, dice shallots and cucumbers very small and set aside. Pour the white wine into a small stainless steel pot. Cook to burn off the alcohol and reduce by half. Add sugar, dissolve, and set aside to cool. Combine with vinegar in a glass jar. Add shallots, cracked peppercorns, and cucumber. Chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving to make sure it’s very cold and the flavors have blended.


      Use an oyster knife and towel to carefully open each oyster. Make sure not to get any shell on the flesh of the oyster. Disconnect the muscle on each oyster bottom and place on a serving tray (try not to spill the liquid from inside the oyster). Place a few pieces of the cucumber and shallots from the mignonette on each oyster along with a couple drops of the liquid. Your leftover mignonette will last about a week in the refrigerator.



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