Recipe by kalofagas.ca
I love oysters..love, love them. My favourite way to enjoy them is raw with a spicy condiment or freshly grated horseradish. I don't have them often and they are always a treat. I have never prepared them myself because I was always hesitant to shuck the oysters. Silly, I know, but I was worried about hurting myself with the knife. So, when I was invited to the launch party for the Shucker Paddy at Patrick McMurray's Starfish restaurant in Toronto, I was excited.
Patrick McMurray knows a thing or two about oyster shucking. He holds the Guinness record for the most oysters shucked in a minute....38! In this photo, Patrick is holding his newest creation; an oyster shucker he designed called the Shucker Paddy. It is guaranteed to make shucking oyster easy! I was fortunate to get a one on one lesson from Patrick on how to use it and I'm happy to say that shucking oysters no longer scares me. I always say, if I can do it, so can you. If you want more information about this oyster knife and Patrick, visit his site at http://www.shuckerpaddy.com/
I wanted to practice my new shucking skill so I prepared some oysters this weekend. As I said before, I prefer raw oysters but I wanted to try something a little different. I really enjoyed the fresh flavours of these oysters and I can't wait to make them again. Enjoy!
8 live large oysters
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup scallions or leeks, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 cup of ripe plum tomatoes, chopped in large chunks
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 dry white wine (I used Port wine for sweetness)
2 tsps. of capers
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
pinch of Boukovo (chilli flakes, I used dried piri piri)
1/2 cup breads crumbs (plus extra for topping)
1 cup diced Feta cheese
Lemon or limes wedges as garnish
1. Pre-heated 450F oven with the rack set to the uppermost position.
2. In a large skillet, add your olive oil turn the heat to medium then add your leeks, garlic and tomatoes and simmer while occasionally stirring for about 5-6 minutes. Add the smoked paprika and white wine and simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until the sauce reduces until thick.
3. Now add the capers, dried thyme stir in then add a pinch of chilli flakes to taste. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Add the bread crumbs and cubes of Feta and stir-in and reserve.
4. To shuck your oysters, you’ll need a flat work surface, a tea towel to place in the oyster in and protect your hand that will hold the oyster. Place the oyster cup-side down/flat and stick the oyster shucking knife into the hinge. Jimmy-jammy the knife in the hinge and you will eventually feel the oyster opening. Wiggle the knife and pry the oyster open and then sweep the knife underneath the top shell to cut the muscle off of it. Then place the knife under the muscle of the bottom shell and cut that part too. Remove any visible grit inside the shell and place in a baking vessel that will hold all the oysters. Repeat with the remaining oysters.
5. Now simply divide and spoon the cooled filling on top of each oyster and sprinkle some bread crumbs. Place in your pre-heated oven until the cheese has melted and the topping has become golden-brown(15-20 minutes). Carefully remove from your oven and place on a platter with lemon or lime wedges. Serve with Ouzo on ice or a Pavlou Estate Kappa 100 Rose Sparkling made from 100% Xinomavro grapes.
Note: Buy your oysters from a trusted fish monger. Ask what type of oyster they are, where they are from and any tips on shucking them. Store in your fridge for up to one day and after shucking them, always ALWAYS have a smell of your oysters. They should smell of the sea and if any fishy smell emanates from it, throw it out.
Patrick demonstrating how to properly shuck an oyster.