Thursday, 22 January 2009

It's Thursday, so it must be oysters / les huitres


A sustainable supper

We're so lucky here in Gabian that the coquillage van comes to the village twice a week bringing fresh shellfish from Bouziques.  Oysters seem to be one of the best foods we can get from the environmental point of view ... and they're delicious and very good value.

In the Guardian newspaper last Saturday Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was encouraging readers to eat oysters, raw or cooked.  He gave some recipes - including one for oyster and chard fritters, which I want to make sometime soon, and another for oysters with chorizo.  This recipe was for six oysters to serve six people as a starter - well, here in the Midi we eat oysters in larger quantities than that, but the recipe sounded very tempting.  I had a nice chunk of chorizo which I'd bought from the charcutier at the market yesterday and realised that I could combine this with one of my favourite ways with oysters - huitres gratinées, putting them under the grill with white wine and cheese.

We started with some of our leeks, and onions, sautéed in olive oil and then served with shavings of parmesan.

leeks_1 leeks   parmesan_1_2_1

Les poireaux sautés aux oignons et l'huile d'olive.  Servir au parmesan.

Oysters gratinées with chorizo / Huitres gratinées au chorizo

oysters   chorizo_1_1

We added chopped garlic, olive oil, white wine and grated Cantal cheese to the oysters in their shells and put them under the grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese began to brown.  In the meantime we cooked the diced chorizo in olive oil, then served it with the oysters and poured the spicy oil from the frying pan over the oysters.

We finished this Thursday evening feast with some of the lovely Spanish clementines which are in all the local shops and markets at the moment.


We felt we deserved all of this after a few hours' hard work earlier on, spreading another trailer-load of goat manure on the garden.


catalan gardener said...

That sounds amazing and I'm such an uncultured kind of gal I've yet to try oysters! I think it will be something to do soon though...

Nutty Gnome said...

You have really made my mouth water whilst reading your blog - I haven't got any oysters to hand, so I'm off to dig up some leeks before it gets too dark and I'll cook something scrummy for tea!

Sheshanna said...

Gosh that sounds amazing! Fantastic! Mouthwatering! XXX

ilex said...

I gasped out loud at that GORGEOUS plate of oysters. They are my favorite treat, especially raw. I try to have a plate every year on my birthday, which, luckily, is in December- prime oyster season- though sadly, not as sustainable as yours, you lucky duck. That's it, I must move to France.