For a Va-Va-Voom Valentine's Day: Oysters on Fennel with Lemon Butter
February 08, 2011 - Linda Grasso
Cooked Oysters on Fennel with Lemon Butter
Forget about the Hallmark card and last minute harried gift search this year! Get down and dirty and cook for your lover! And, we've got the perfect recipe courtesy of Christophe Happillion. He's known around this neck of the woods as the Oyster Gourmet . "The idea beyond cooking or eat oysters for Valentine's Day is that they are sensual and full of mystery. Eating an oyster is a leap of faith into the unknown, like a new relationship." Christophe adds, "They are also widely accepted as an aphrodisiac which can be a good way to spark a conversation and who knows what else for the evening!"
But the Oyster impresario cautions us not to just think of oysters on Valentine's Day. But rather think of them more like a staple, "I like the fact that when you learn how to use a compound butter on oysters you can do many variations simply by changing the ingredients. In my opinion, every one should keep some in the fridge to put on: steak, fish, pasta, saute vegetables, and toast thoughout the year."
photo left: Chef Christophe Happillion
- 6 oysters deep cupped medium size
- 1/4 pound of butter
- 1 fresh chopped shallot
- 1 tablespoon of fennel seed
- ½ tablespoon of lemon zest
Chop the butter into uniform chunks and put them in a bowl cover outside the fridge. When the butter is soft (30 minutes) mach it with the back of a fork adding the ingredients fennel seed, chopped shallot, lemon zest check that the ingredients are uniformly distributed in the butter.
Put a half inch of rock salt on an oven sheet. Put the 6 oysters cup down on the bed of salt then put the oven sheet and the oysters in the oven at 420 F for 20 minutes. They will then pop open. Let them cool down and then remove the top part of the shell. Drain the jus out of the shell then apply with a knife or a fork a generous amount of the compound butter that you just made on and around the flesh of the oysters in half shell. Next put them back on there bed of rock salt and put the sheet under broiler for 5 minutes.
Serve the oyster when hot.
Purchasing tips: When purchasing oysters look for tightly closed shells, clean and unbroken shells, and a fresh ocean scent. Carry your shellfish in an ice box or insulate bag. To store shellfish, cover with a moist cloth and refrigerate in open container. Never store oysters in salt water, in airtight bags. Beware of strong fishy or rotten eggs odor.
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