Food & Wine

Chef Robert Barker's Oysters Camille

The cover of the Tri-City Herald Food & Wine section Feb. 17 will have information on a website where home cooks can find hundreds of tested recipes for beef and information on a contest for registered dietitians. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.

Chef Robert Barker's Oysters Camille

The recipe for Oysters Camille is pure magic. While it looks like a lovely, rosy valentine, it is an icy savory combination that tastes just like a spicy cocktail sauce.

Yield: 4 appetizer servings

Ingredients

24 shucked fresh oysters, well chilled, with bottom shells reserved

8 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

juice from 1 large lemon

hot pepper sauce, to taste

salt, to taste

Instructions

This part of the recipe should be done the day before preparing the mignonette sauce (below) and serving the oysters.

Strain the oyster juices (the “liquor”) into a container to remove grit and refrigerate or freeze the liquor for future use. Place the whole oysters in a closed container and put them in the coldest section of the refrigerator to chill overnight. Also, scrub the oyster bottom shells clean under running water and set them aside.

A pinkish liquid is the objective in making this granité. Begin by puréeing the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth. Rest a strainer over a medium-size bowl and line the strainer with a paper coffee filter or cheesecloth. Pour the puréed tomatoes into the lined strainer and allow the water from the purée to drip into the bowl as a pinkish, watery liquid. With your fingers, gently press down on the purée to release as much tomato water as possible. The total yield should be about 1 cup of liquid.

Discard the paper filter or cheesecloth containing the pressed purée.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce and salt to the tomato water and whisk to blend thoroughly. Pour the tomato water and seasonings into a rimmed baking pan large enough to produce a thin layer of the liquid. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and freeze the liquid until solid, scraping every 2 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, black pepper, olive oil, champagne vinegar and salt.

Horseradish Mignonette

Ingredients

2 tablespoons freshly grated or prepared horseradish

1 French shallot, finely chopped

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup

champagne vinegar

salt, to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley or green onion, for garnish

crushed ice

Instructions

Remove the frozen granité from the freezer and rake it with a fork until it reaches a fine, snowball-like consistency.

Arrange the scrubbed oyster bottom shells on a bed of crushed ice. On each oyster place 1 tablespoon of the horseradish mignonette, then top it with 1 tablespoon of the tomato granité. Garnish with chopped parsley or green onion.

Serve immediately.

From: The P&J Oyster Cookbook by by Kit Wohl and the Sunseri family, owners of P&J Oyster Company in New Orleans.

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