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I love OYSTERS and I like my oysters 'Au Naturel'. To get that right takes great care, understanding and skill, and of course the presentation is vital.

The ideal is to take a walk along a pristine beach, pick a few oysters off the rocks, shuck and enjoy. So, when I ask for Oysters in a restaurant, I am asking for the vision, smell and taste a of that pristine beach, on a plate.

Crushed ice emulates the white breaking surf; salt - the smell of sea and sand; a twist of lemon - the cleansing sea breeze and a touch of finely ground black pepper (one turn of the grinder) - the hint of warmth from the sun.

Don't throw some oysters on a plate .... transport me!

'To master simplicity, master complexity.'

As for tabasco, I don't get it. I enjoy the condiment on a variety of dishes, but not here. Perhaps for those who like the feel of scorching sand on bare feet ... or a sunburn?

Apparently, artificial oyster beds were being formed in China long before they came to be cultivated by the Romans. That means that we have been enjoying the art of eating oysters for about 1900 years.

For a fascinating, all encompassing history of the Oyster:

oysters and all about them

image: wikipedia commons

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Thursday, September 24, 2009


Ingredients: serves 8 
500 gm (3 1/3 cups) plain flour
125 gm butter, coarsely chopped
2 x 250gm blocks of butter, each thinly sliced lengthways into 10 slices
250 ml Iced acidulated water - add juice of half a lemon to 1 cup of water

Using a food processor, process flour, chopped butter and a pinch of salt until fine crumbs form. 

Add 250ml iced acidulated water and process until just coming together. 
Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth. 
Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Roll out pastry on a floured surface to 25cm x 60cm, with short edge facing you.
Arrange half the butter slices in a single layer over middle third of pastry, then fold down top third of pastry.
Arrange remaining butter slices over folded pastry, fold up bottom third. 

Turn anti-clockwise so opening is on the right, then turn over pastry, keeping opening to your right.
Roll out pastry to 25cm x 60cm with short side facing you, fold down top third, then fold up bottom third. 

Turn pastry anti-clockwise, turn over and repeat. 
Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate until pastry is firm (2-3 hours). 

Repeat again four times, allowing the pastry to rest in between.

Pastry can be frozen, it's time consuming so make a double batch.

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