Oysters Souvenir de Tahaa
Crisp-fried herbed oysters are simply served with cream of shallot sauce and garnished with oyster shells and limes. The name of the dish is itself a souvenir of his days as a chef in Tahiti.
- Oysters - 20 medium
- Eggs - 3
- Bread Crumbs - 1 cup
- Fresh mint - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Fresh Thyme - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Fresh Marjoram - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Fresh Oregano - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Fresh Shallots - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Fresh Parsley - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Flour - 2 tablespoons
- Cream of Shallot Sauce
- Shallot - 4 tablespoons, chopped
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Reserved oyster juice (above)
- Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Cold Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick), cut into small pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Oyster Shells - 4 half (above)
- Parsley - 4 sprigs
- Limes - 2, cut in half
- Chives - 1 tablespoon, chopped
To prepare the oysters: Shuck the oysters, reserving the juice. Place the oysters on a dry towel. Wash the best four shell halves and set aside. Beat the eggs in a bowl and set aside. Combine the crumbs and herbs. Sprinkle the oysters with flour. Dip into the beaten egg, then into the crumb mixture to coat. Place the oysters on a dry towel and put in the refrigerator.
To prepare the sauce: Cook the shallots, white wine, oyster juice, and lemon juice in a saucepan until nearly all liquid has evaporated. Add the cream and bring to a strong boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low. Whip in small pieces of butter, a few at a time, until incorporated. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and keep warm over warm water or in an insulated container.
To finish and assemble: In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter until the butter melts and sizzles. Add the oysters and cook 1 minute on each side, until light golden brown and crisp. Remove and place on paper towels.
To serve: Warm 4 serving plates. Pour sauce on the plates and place half an oyster shell on each. Garnish each with parsley and half a lime. Arrange oysters in a circular pattern around the shells. Sprinkle with chopped chives.