Monday, April 16, 2018

Andalusian-Inspired Oyster Shooters

The overwhelming majority of oyster shooter recipes utilize alcohol as an ingredient.  Vodka, tequila, wine or beer.  Most recipes incorporate one, and, usually in a rather boring way.  Who wants a Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter? Not me.   How about a Lime Tequila Oyster Shooter?  Uh, no.   Maybe a Champagne oyster shooter?  Maybe; but, not today.  Rather, I wanted to make an oyster shooter; and, I did not want to have to use alcohol as an ingredient.

My search for an alcohol-free oyster shooter recipe, other than the ones that I have already made (see here and here), seemed hopeless.  That was until I found a recipe for a Spanish Style Oyster Shooter.  That recipe called for alcohol (namely, vodka), but it got me to thinking.  The principal ingredients of the liquid were the classic ingredients of a gazpacho.  The chilled tomato soup, with its Andalusian origins, got me to thinking that it would be the perfect medium for an alcohol-free oyster shooter.  

While a gazpacho is a very simple soup to make, I decided to make a few changes. First, traditional gazpacho uses bread to thicken the soup.  That is great when you are serving gazpacho as a soup; it is not so great when you are trying to make it more like a drink.  So, I dispensed with the bread, which helped to maintain a lighter consistency.  Second, I decided to add a 1/2 of a jalapeno pepper.  This ingredient helps to provide a small little kick to the shooter.  I think that I will use an entire jalapeno pepper when I make this recipe again, because that little kick got lost in the tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper.   Third, I used Willapoint Oysters, which are farm raised in the State of Washington.  These oysters are sold by the pint, which means that they are pre-shucked.  This saves a lot of preparation time.  In addition, Willapoint Oysters also tend to be larger than other oysters that are available to me, such as Blue Points, Chicoteagues and Salt Tanks.  This larger oysters make for a whopping double Oyster Shooters, as the picture below shows.

A Chef Bolek Original
Serves 4

1 pint of shucked oysters or 24 oysters shucked with
     liqueur reserved
1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cucumber, skinned, seeded, diced
1/2 jalapeno, skinned, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 bunch of scallions, white parts and green parts
     thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1.  Prepare the "gazpacho."  Place the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, white wine vinegar, and jalapeno in a blender.  Blend until the ingredients are liquified.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

2.  Prepare the oysters.  If you buy a pint of oysters, remove the oysters and strain the liquid through cheesecloth.  If you bought the oysters, shuck the oysters and reserve the liqueur.

3.  Finish the dish.  Stir the oyster liqueur into the "gazpacho."  Place 1 or 2 oysters in the bottom of a shot glass, and 1-2 tablespoons of the "gazpacho."  Garnish with the scallions.  Serve immediately.


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