Saturday was National Oyster Day, and we treated ourselves to a home-cooked meal with this recipe from Good Stock.
If you love this recipe or its James Beard Award winning author Sanford D’Amato, head on over to the Good Stock website to find the latest pearls on cooking classes, demos, and more with Mr. D’Amato himself.
POACHED OYSTERS WITH MINT CREAM AND PAPAYA MIGNONETTE
Traditional mignonette is simply red wine vinegar, chopped shallot, and coarse pepper. This preparation is all dressed up for the New Year with a small dice of papaya and an herb cream, which helps keep the sauce and oyster flavor lingering on your palate after they disappear.
24 large oysters in the shell (Blue Points, Malpeques, or Wellfleets) washed well in water
8 ounces (227 g) ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut in small dice
1 jalapeño pepper, stem, seeds, and veins removed and cut in very small dice (brunoise) (optional)
1–2 shallots, diced very small (you will need 1/4 cup [1 ounce]), rinsed in cold water and drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
¾ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste
½ cup (115 g) sour cream
¼ cup (½ ounce [14 g]) fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped
1. Carefully shuck the oysters. Reserve the oysters and liquid in a stainless sauté pan. (Rinse and reserve the bottom shells for presentation.) Place the sauté pan over high heat for about 30 seconds to just bring the liquid up to a simmer. When they just start to curl on the edges, remove the oysters, with a slotted spoon (do not overcook). Cool in the refrigerator.
2. Reduce the oyster liquid to ¼ cup (59 mL) and strain into a bowl. To the bowl, add the papaya, the (optional) jalapeño, the shallots, the vinegar, the lime juice, the ¾ teaspoon black pepper, and the ⅛ teaspoon salt and mix lightly. Refrigerate the Papaya Mignonette for 1 hour to blend the flavors. Mix the sour cream and mint, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and reserve in the refrigerator.
3. Divide the reserved dry bottom shells onto 4 plates. Place a dollop of the reserved mint cream on each shell. Place 1 cold oyster on each of the dollops and top each oyster with 1 teaspoon of the Papaya Mignonette; serve immediately.