seafood

how to: shuck an oyster + tequila-lime mignonette

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'Tis the season, without a doubt,  to crack open some oysters.  And this year, it's all you. Serve them with some lemon wedges, cocktail sauce or the mignonette that follows.  No matter how you rock it, they will be delicious.

I stopped by my favorite local shop, Nassau Seafood, and wrangled by friend, Jeremy Stein, who knows about such things, to give us a little demo:

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So that's all it takes.  A sharp knife into the butt, twist, pop, slurp.  If that was too fast, let's break it down:

Grab the oyster in a thick towel and face the butt (the narrowest part) towards you, cup side down on your cutting board.

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Place the tip of your knife into the butt of the oyster.

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Pry the hinge open by either moving your knife from side to side or with a quick twist.

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Run your knife along the shell to separate the top from the bottom.

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Loosen the mussel around the oyster until it is free, taking care to preserve as much liquid as possible.  Arrange on a bed of ice and serve immediately with your ideal accompaniments.

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tequila-lime mignonette

1 c champagne vinegar

1/4 c shallots, finely minced

1/3 c really good tequila

3 T lime juice 

1 T jalapeno, finely minced

1 T red bell pepper, finely minced

2 t sugar

1/4 t ground cumin

1 T cilantro leaves, finely minced

black pepper and sea salt to taste

Combine all of the above together and let the flavors come together in the fridge for about an hour before serving.  If you are serving to children and are concerned about the alcohol, please heat all of the above together and bring to a boil to burn it off.  Just be sure to chill the sauce completely before serving with your oysters.