Oysters on the Half Shell

Written by Sasha Graham, the Tarot Diva of NYC and photographer’s wife.

Slide between your lips, slippery on your tongue, press down – don’t bite, wait – taste the brininess, invoke the ocean, now – let it slide down your throat. Mmmm, oysters . . .

Oysters are regarded as the strongest aphrodisiac. They herald the height of summer sensuality and are best eaten in salty, seaside air, in candlelight, aside a flickering tikki torch or next to a beach bonfire.

Oyster Hints:

Always select oysters from a reputable market to be assured they are safe for raw consumption.

Oysters, like any seafood are best eaten as soon as possible.

Select 6 oysters per person for an appetizer or first course.

How to Shuck Oysters…

Step 1 ) Make sure oysters are still alive by checking that their shells are tightly closed.

Step 2 ) Scrub oysters with a stiff brush under running water.

Step 3 ) Hold oyster in the palm of your hand with a towel so that you don’t accidentally cut yourself.

Step 4 )Work over a bowl so that you can catch the oyster’s juices.

Step 5 ) Position the oyster in your hand with the cup-side down – so that its curved shell faces down and its flatter side faces up.

Step 6 ) Insert a paring or oyster knife between the shells, near the hinge.

Step 7 ) Twist the knife so that the oyster’s muscles are detached.

Step 8 ) Remove the top shell.

Step 9 ) Scrape the meat from the top shell into the bottom shell.

Step 10 ) Use the knife to cut the oyster from the bottom shell, or serve it on the half shell.

How to Shuck Oysters How to Shuck Oysters

To Eat:

Take your oyster and squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice or a few drops of your choice of sauce onto the flesh of the oyster. Using an oyster fork, stab the flesh, gently break free and eat. Alternately, you may bring the shell to your lips, tilt and slurp.

Cocktail Sauce:

Makes about 2/3 cup

½ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons fresh or bottled horseradish (more if you like it spicy)
¼ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Stir all ingredients together and adjust and seasoning as you like. Serve in a small bowl or ramekin. Store leftover in the fridge.

Mignonnette Sauce:

Makes about ½ cup

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns (freshly crushed)
1½ tablespoons chopped shallots
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 chopped fresh thyme
Pinch of salt

Stir all ingredients together and adjust seasoning, as you like. Serve in a small bowl or ramekin.

Photographer Bill Brady http://bit.ly/9wFYxm
Food Stylist Brian Preston Campbell
Recipe and blog provided by Sasha Graham The Tarot Diva http://sashagraham.com/