1handfulseaweed or parsley on stemsfor garnish, optional
Prepare the oysters:
Cover a platter with crushed ice. (Add seaweed or parsley for decoration if desired. Leave room for the small bowl of mignonette.)
Rinse oysters and place in a shallow bowl.
Put your oyster glove on your non-dominant hand OR position thick tea towel folded in thirds long ways on your work space, lay your fingers flat on one end, tuck your thumb under, and gather up the tea towel to protect your non-dominate thumb.
Hold an oyster in the glove, or place the oyster on the towel against your protected thumb, with the flat side of the oyster up, cupped side down, and stick the knife into the hinge - the pointy end. Push in and wiggle then turn vertically and pop the shell open. (You may remove your hand from the towel if using, until the next one.) Discard flat top shell, wipe knife on towel.
Release the muscle underneath the meat by running the knife along the bottom, keeping the juices in the shell. Place on platter, nestling them in the ice so they keep their juice, and repeat with the rest of the oysters.
Prepare the mignonette:
Coarsely grind, or crush with the bottom of a pot, about 1/2 tsp peppercorns and put in a small decorative bowl with a little spoon.
Stir in shallot, red wine vinegar and chives (or parsley). Stir with a little spoon and place on platter with oysters.
Add lemon wedges to platter of oysters and mignonette and serve! (Once consumed, turn the shell cupped side up on the platter.) Enjoy!
In transport, keep oysters on ice in a cooler or waterproof bag - but do not seal it, and do not submerge them in water. They like to be cold (35-45 degrees F) and they are alive so they need to breathe.
Once home, refrigerate them in a shallow bowl, deep/rounded side facing down. Cover with clean wet kitchen towel. You can also keep them on ice in a strainer over a bigger bowl, so the water drains as it melts (and they do not end up submerged).
Consume within 1-2 days of purchase.
It is normal for the oysters to open a bit to breathe. Tap them and they should close back up tightly. If they don't, discard them, and any that have broken shells.
Copyright 2020 Kirsten Lara Getchell. All Rights Reserved.