Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Oysters RockAfeller, Oysters on the Half Shell

Oysters on the half shell

I was watching the Food Network one afternoon, and saw an episode of Chuck's Day Off, where he was cooking up a meal of dishes all surrounding oysters.
I thought the dishes looked scrumptious, and he was ever so helpful in demonstrating how to shuck your own oysters.
I thought it look easy enough! So I got myself an oyster knife (essential tool to have) and had a go at it...brilliant!
It was a huge success, certainly a new favourite dish I will do again.

Oyster knife - almost like a letter opener
Ready to be dressed up
Creamy spinach sauce with bread crumbs and parmesan
After broiling for about 2 minutes

    * 2 dozen oysters
    * 1 cup/250ml 35-percent cream
    * 1 teaspoon/5ml Dijon mustard
    * 1 cup/250ml grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    * 4 cups fresh spinach (1 liter), stemmed
    * 1 cup/250ml breadcrumbs
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shuck the oysters, reserving the liquid. Place the oysters and liquid in a saucepan. Reserve the deeper half of each oyster shell. Cook the oysters over medium heat for about 30 seconds, just to give them some firmness. With a slotted spoon, remove the oysters to a bowl and set aside. Add the cream to the oyster liquid in the pan and cook for 10 minutes to reduce. Add the mustard and half the cheese. Set aside.
In another saucepan over low heat, cook the spinach with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water until wilted. Strain the excess spinach water into the cream mixture and set the spinach aside.
Mix the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the breadcrumbs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Heat the broiler. Arrange the oyster half-shells in a casserole dish filled with seaweed or large rock salt. Place each oyster in a shell and add a bit of the cream mixture and some spinach. Top with the breadcrumb mixture. Broil until the cheese melts and the tops are lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

For quick demo of how to shuck oysters, scope out this link.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Busy Month of December

These past couple of Tuesdays have been consumed with getting out and enjoying myself.
Last week we went to see Beady Eye at the Commodore Ballroom.
For those of you not familiar with the band, Beady Eye is Liam Gallaghar and the other Oasis members, minus Noel Gallaghar.

Last night we leaped into the holidays with the Artsclub production of White Christmas, at the Stanley on Granville Street.
It was a lovely evening and a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

I've been watching loads of Christmas cooking specials - Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Nigella.
Today I'm preparing some apple and cranberrry chutney, as seen on Nigella Lawson's Christmas Kitchen, 2007, episode 4.


  • 4 to 5 cooking apples, peeled, quartered, cored and chopped small, about 4½ cups (1.125 L)
  • 11/2 cups (375 mL) dried cranberries
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) super-fine sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Maldon salt or 1 tsp (5 mL) table salt
  • 4 1 cup (250 mL) sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids 
Simmered and ready to bottle
  1. Sterilize your jars following the manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Take a medium-sized (not too big) saucepan and chuck all the ingredients into it. Stir with a wooden spoon and then put the pan on the heat.
  3. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat a little to let the pan cook, uncovered, on a fast simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the chutney has thickened slightly and the fruit is soft.
  4. Spoon into your warm, prepared jars and seal them.

    Make the chutney up to 2 months before using or giving (the longer it has to mature, the better). Store in a dark, cool place for up to 1 year. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 month.
Beautiful...makes a wonderful gift as well