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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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Monday, October 5, 2009


Ingredients: (serves 12)
600 ml Cream
50g Castor sugar
4 Egg yolks
5 ml Vanilla essence
25g Brown sugar

Place cream in the top of a double boiler, gently bring to the boil.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Mix egg yolks, castor sugar and vanilla together in a bowl.
Add warm cream to the mixture, whisking constantly. (cream should be sufficiently cooled so as not to cook the egg at this stage otherwise you will have scrambled brulee!)
Place moulds, ramekins or brulee dishes into a deep tray or bain maire.
Pour mixure into moulds.
Carefully pour water into the tray, around the moulds to about half way up the sides.
Cover the whole tray with foil.
Place in oven at 160°C / 300° F for about an hour until set.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Chill overnight in the fridge.
Before serving sprinkle with brown sugar and glaze under grill/salamander or a blowtorch (if you must!) until medium brown.

Presented here with strawberries halves, lavender flowers and violet crystallized pansy flowers and topped with spun sugar.


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