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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oysters with Garlic Herb Butter and Goat Cheese in a Tomato Compote

I dearly love Oysters and since they are not often sold in the supermarket when I saw them on sale this week I decided to scrap what I had been planing to make for lunch and make Oysters with Garlic Herb Butter and Goat Cheese in a Tomato Compote. That's a rather long recipe title but I had a hard time coming up with something shorter yet still descriptive.

Since Oysters are really fast to prepare I started off with the tomato compote. I took a few tomatoes chopped them up and tossed them with olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper, a splash of balsamic vinegar and roasted garlic paste. This went in the oven until they were shriveled.

Oops. I let them in the oven a little bit too long. Not a tragedy though. They went into the blender with just enough tomato puree to make a super thick sauce.

I divided this between two ramekins and added a generous amount of goat cheese. That speck of white poking out is basically just the tip of a gigantic goat cheese iceberg floating about a savoury tomato sea. This then went into the oven to get oozy and bubbly.

Aren't oysters rather ugly looking on the outside? I wonder who it was that first wonder if there might be anything edible in there. Anyways, I digress. After the difficulties I had with opening oysters the last time I made them I decided to take a new approach. I had read in a cookbook that oysters will open p if your steam them for two minutes. Since I much prefer the oysters to do the work of opening themselves up rather than having to do myself I thought it was a brilliant idea.

Success! The only problems is that the oyster liquour will spill if they open and they are tipped a bit. I tried to arranged them as flat as I could in the steamer but some lost part of their liquid. Oh well. It was much easier opening them up this time. I just had to slip the knife in between the shells and give it a twist. This is the really the fastest and easiest method of opening them. Unless you want to eat them raw of course.

For the topping I mixed softened butter along with fresh parsley, salt, pepper, roasted garlic paste and dried chilies. I actually put in the chilies by accident because I thought I had grabbed the salt instead but since they seemed to want to come along for the ripe I decided to let them stay.

I also toasted some panko in a pan on the stove and tossed it into the butter and herb mixture at the last moment since I didn't want them to get soggy.

Here are all my oysters, all lined up in a row awaiting their filling. The recipe book I was using said to but them on a bed of coarse sea salt but since I didn't fancy using 15 dollars worth of salt for cushioning I put them on a rack hoping that it might help to keep them flat.

Each oyster got a dollop of the topping and they went into the oven at broil for two minutes.

When they came out the oysters were perfectly cooked and the topping was crispy and golden.


Doesn't that look glorious? This was one of the best lunches that I have had in a while. The oysters were rather pricey (1.30$ each!!) but they were well worth it. I also had some French bread which I had cut into fingers to dip into the goat cheese.


Sheer bliss and most definitely a repeat. I was beyond thrilled with how well this meal turned out.
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