Saturday, April 8, 2017

Oyster Shooters with Tomato, Lime and Chiles

This is the best recipe ever invented. Period.

No, seriously.  This recipe of Oyster Shooters with Tomato, Lime and Chiles makes me rethink why I have made the nearly one hundred recipes that are already in the index to this blog.  After having one of these oyster shooters, I began thinking, "why in the world did I spend all that time making" this recipe or that recipe.  I could just spend every night making this recipe.  Some dicing and slicing.  Some mixing.  A little waiting.   A little more work.  And, the best recipe ever invented.

I have to say, my hats off to the person who thought: "what if I combined tomatoes, citrus and chiles with tomatoes?  And then added raw oysters."  You deserve a James Beard Award or three. Quite coincidentally, that is where I found this recipe ... on the James Beard Foundation's website. 

Now, for you to agree, you have to love eating raw oysters.   Atlantic oysters, Pacific oysters. Malpeques, Miyagis, Blue Points, Wellfleets, Rappahanocks, Olde Salts, Chincoteaques, Chop Tanks, Kumamotos.  You name it, you have to be willing to eat it.  And, if you eat raw oysters, then buckle up, because you are in for what is truly a gastronomic roller-coaster ride.

The ride begins with the acidity from the tomatoes and citrus.  As the tomato, lime and orange hit the tongue, it is followed by the oyster, which, depending upon the type used, can add a little brininess.  As you finish the shooter, you get the spring onion and cilantro, as well as some of the heat from the serrano pepper.  It is the embodiment of the perfect combination of complementary and contrasting flavors.

I have actually made this recipe a few times before posting it.  I have to admit that, each time, I cheated.   The recipe calls for a dozen oysters, shucked.  The process of shucking oysters, which I have done countless times in the past, can take some time to complete.  My beautiful Angel, Clare, found a very convenient workaround: buying a container of pre-shucked oysters from North Carolina.  Although I cannot remember the specific type of oyster, it is most likely Crassostrea Virginica, the common Atlantic oyster, which is prevalent in the waters around North Carolina.  The pre-shucked oysters reduce the prep work, making this a very easy recipe to enjoy after a long day at work. 

Recipe by Andrew Hebert
Serves 2-4 (or 1 Chef Bolek)

1 cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 serrano chile, seeds removed, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon 
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon of finely grated garlic
Pinch of salt
12 oysters, shucked
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the tomato juice, ketchup, serrano chile, all of the citrus juice and zest, ginger, garlic and salt.  Mix well and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  When ready to serve, pour about 2 tablespoons of the tomato mixture into each shot glass.  Add a shucked oyster to each glass.  Garnish with a pinch of scallions and cilantro.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve very cold. 


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