Scottish – Fresh
Arcachon Bay – a must-visit place for oyster eaters
Now, to the point – Arcachon Bay – a favorite place for oyster eaters. Now it’s entirely up to you – if you want a classic beach promenade and fun, it’s worth turning to Arcachon. But if you want to see the real oyster hut life and fun, then sail up the bay. One of our favorite places was the village of Ares and L’Herbe.
What’s nice about this place is that the attitude, of oysters being a dish that only a selected few can enjoy, does not exist around here. Oysters are rather “fast food” than a gourmet dish around here!
The oyster is picked up and opened in a similar way to a light concave, but not cut through at
the bottom. This is now done by each client with their own fork. There is also no need to drain the
liquid first – it is so fresh, that it’s simply not necessary.
I come from a family of Oyster lovers. My granny makes oyster cornbread dressing every holiday and my family gobbles it up. My Papa used to love to order baked oysters at any restaurant he visited and that is where this recipe for Baked Herbed Oysters came about.
This recipe is from a restaurant in Louisiana that my grandparents used to visit when my Mom was a baby. That gives you a big hint as to how old this classic actually is! Gotta love those
I like to use thyme and parsley in my Baked Herbed Oysters because they aren’t too overpowering. However, you can add any other herbs you like. I would suggest chives and rosemary as good alternatives.
Oysters Served with Apple and Horseradish Dressing
- Oyster Knife
- Silver Platter
- 24 Oysters Use Good Quality
- 160 g Crushed Ice Frozen
- 3 tbsp White Wine Vinegar Good Quality
- 30 g Shallots Finely Chopped
- 1 tsp Honey Use Good Quality
- 30 g Rapeseed Oil Good Quality
- 30 g Apple Use Good Quality – Chopped
- 20g g Horseradish Use Fresh Grated
- 10 g White Peppercorns Use Fresh Grated
- Mix the vinegar and shallots for the dressing in a small bowl and leave this to sit, covered, for an hour or so as the shallots can infuse the vinegar. Then, add all other ingredients, stir and leave in a serving bowl.
- Rinse the oysters under cold running water, throwing away any that are open and don’t close when tapped them against the side of the sink. Place an oyster rounded-side up on a work surface. Grip the oyster with a tea towel to help protect your hand, leaving the narrow hinged end exposed. Next, place the tip of the knife between the top and bottom shells just next to the hinge, carefully pushing into the shell, twisting and wiggling the knife tip, to release the top shell. At first, it may seem like you aren’t getting there, but keep going with gentle pressure until the shell pops open. Try to keep the oyster level, so the delicious liquor (the briny, salty sea water) stays inside the deeper bottom shell.
- Wipe your knife clean and then pry open the shell by inserting the knife tip in a few other spots, twisting it to release the shell completely. Keeping the oyster level, run your knife along the inside of the upper shell to cut the muscle that attaches the oyster to it. Remove the top shell. Run your knife along the inside of the lower shell and gently cut the oyster free. Leave the oyster nestled in its shell.
- Transfer the oyster in its bottom shell to a bed of crushed ice or rock salt that will keep the shell level, while you repeat the process with the remaining oysters. Serve immediately with the dressing; each person should use about ¼ tsp of the dressing for each oyster – you can dress each one in advance yourself if you prefer, and add a dill sprig to the top.