These little babies didn't stand a chance. It was like throwing christians to the lions!

As promised after the oyster fiesta while on holiday in Iluka, here are the recipes for the garnishes we had with them, plus (there is always a plus here with foodisthebestshitever folks… always a plus. Stick with us and you’ll be fine. Except in the case of an apocalypse, in which case ain’t nothing going to save you!) you get the prerequisite amusing anecdote, and only here on foodisthebestshitever is it the norm for that amusing anecdote to have approximately zero relevance to the actual story.

On with the show…

Recently I was flicking through the channels on the picture box* and I hit a show with a crazy English bird waffling on about oysters and the dislike she thought she had for them, and how tewibbly ugaly they are. Bloody hell, I thought to myself. But then she goes on to discover they are actually very tasty and delicious and have as much a place in your mouth as any old sea farers co… c… whoa up there Nelly. Point being; I want oysters and I want them now.

I want oysters all of the time. Freshly shucked, still in the shell please. I want to know they’re fresh and I’m pretty keen for different flavours. The only problem here is that my oyster fetish seems to have been inherited by my son, Seba, so you’ve got to try and get a few in before he notices they’ve hit the table. Life could be worse that’s for damn sure. Anyhoo, today I figure I’ll make a couple of dressings just so I have to get a pile of oysters to try them out!

Does this story need more dragons?

In honour of oyster lovers and dragons everywhere today we shall be trying the legendary Oysters Rockafeller, and we’ll also have them natural and with a chilli, soy and shallot dressing.

SAMSUNG CSC

SOY, CHILLI & SHALLOT DRESSING (for 2 dozen oysters)

1 shallot, finely sliced

1 long red chilli, deseeded and diced as small as you can go

1 teaspoon grated ginger

7 or 8 coriander leaves, finely sliced

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

A squeeze of lemon juice

A splash of olive oil to bring it together

  • Mix to combine
  • That’s it
  • Get to them before Seba does
Popeye would be proud. Muscles would be popping up all over the place...

Popeye would be proud. Muscles would be popping up all over the place…

Not bad at all

Not bad at all

OYSTERS ROCKAFELLER (for 2 dozen oysters)

Adapted (with what I could get hold of in a small sea side town) from Janni Kyritsis’ recipe in the “Sydney Seafood School Cookbook”. Well worth a read PS. The story is mine though…

A while back I was speaking to my friend Amanda, who was living the dream in America, and she was telling me that she was in love with, and slightly addicted to (they kinda go together I guess), Oysters Rockerfeller. Them and cowboy boots, but we’ll concentrate on the oysters for now. Her obsession made me really curious about the Rockafeller and I feel now is the time to let that curiosity flourish.

200g butter

1 stick celery from close to the center, diced

5 spring onions, sliced

1 handful parsley, chopped

2 large handfuls baby spinach, chopped

A splash of pernod

A splash of tabasco sauce to taste

1 or so cups fresh bread crumbs

Rock salt for cooking

Seasoning

  • Heat the butter over a low heat, add the celery and shallots and cook out until softened but not coloured
  • Add the parsley and spinach and cook out for another 5-10 minutes, until the greens have wilted and the water has mostly evaporated
  • Remove from heat and mix through all other ingredients. Transfer to a food processer and puree until smooth (the mixture should be thick and not have excess moisture). Check seasoning and tabasco hit. Refrigerate until cold
  • Preheat oven to 250C
  • Position oysters on mounds of rock salt and top with a generous spoonful of spinach mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until needed
  • Bake oysters for 3-5 minutes until just warm but not cooked through
  • Eat them before Seba gets them all

Some other things that go great with oysters;

  • Fiery granita. The first I heard of a savoury granita was when Pauly (if you don’t know who Pauly is by now then you really haven’t been paying attention now, have you?) made one to go with a prawn ceviche. Needless to say I was amazed… And I truly fell in love. I’m pretty sure that’s all I need to say about that.
  • Red curry sauce. Once, when I was head chef at a Thai restaurant, I was given a shit load of oysters to try (one of the perks of being a head chef is you get given samples of products on a regular basis. Probably half the reason I love it so much) and ate the shit out of said oysters with as many different garnishes as I could find. The red curry dressing with crisp eshallots was defo my fave at the time. Chilled oyster, warm curry sauce and crisp eshallots add up to good times for all.
  • Lemon or lime
  • My face
  • A hot date and some champagne, or whatever it is you kids are drinking these days.

And if you think you don’t like oysters I’ll say to you what I said to my mate Micky many years ago; “Don’t be a fanny! Try the effing thing.” Micky now has a-plate-a-day habit and he’s never looked back.

*picture box. TV. Television. Called picture box by crazy old ladies with a house full of cats and one guy that I worked with. In the same category as the wireless radio.