Folklore has it that oysters should not be eaten in months spelled without an “R” — making September the kick-off to oyster season. Today, that idea is simply a myth, but this month is still thought of as the beginning the of the prime oyster eating season. Brian Bistrong, executive chef at New York’s Citarella restaurant, helps kick-off the season with a little oyster 101.
SESAME CRUSTED OYSTERS Brian Bistrong
Shuck oysters, remove from shell and place in a small bowl, making sure to reserve liquid. Pass liquid through a fine mesh sieve, and set aside for later use. Wash and dry 16 shells. Set aside.
In a coffee grinder, grind sesame seeds until smooth, being careful not to over-grind and create a big clump. (Note that sesame seeds contain a lot of oil, and when over-ground, the oils will release and make the seeds clumpy and difficult to work with).
In a bowl, mix ground sesame seeds with wondra flour, salt and ground white pepper. Mix well to combine.
Place oysters, a few at a time, in the bowl with sesame mixture and toss gently in mixture until well coated.
In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over med-high heat until hot, or until a drop of water sizzles immediately when Sauté oysters in pan on one side until golden brown, turn and cook for 30 more seconds until done (total cooking time will be about 1 minute).
Meanwhile, in a separate sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over med-high heat. Add shiitakes, toss well and sauté until golden around the edges. Once the mushrooms have released their liquid and the pan begins to dry, deglaze with the reserved
oyster liquid. Season with ground white pepper and finish with chopped chives and parsley.
To serve, place a small amount of the mushroom mixture in an oyster shell, top with a hot sesame oyster. Garnish with a sprig of chervil. Each person receives 4 oysters.
9123719604812693560499oysters 1616 oysters in their shells (East or West coast are fine)sesame seeds1cup1 cup sesame seedswondra flour0.25cup1/4 cup wondra floursalt0.5teaspoon1/2 teaspoon saltwhite pepper0.25teaspoon1/4 teaspoon ground white peppershiitake mushrooms1pound1 pound shiitake mushrooms, washed, dried and sliced thinchives1teaspoon1 teaspoon finely chopped chivesparsley1teaspoon1 teaspoon finely chopped parsleycanola oil3tablespoon3 tablespoons canola oilChervil Chervil for garnish
Recipes courtesy of Brian Bistrong.