After raving about duck prosciutto, it's time to talk about some serious business because Valentine's Day is near at hand. My husband Lulu being a vegetarian doesn't mean that I don't get to get to enjoy a feast for our romantic meal on February 14th. I don't know if food with aphrodisiac properties really exists, but I love oysters. During the holidays, Papa made his oyster specialty huîtres chaudes gratinées (oysters au gratin) but that's another recipe. This time around, I served them cold with a chorizo, ginger and lemon topping. And if your significant other loves oysters as much as I do, this might be the perfect starter for a romantic Valentine's Day meal.
While visiting the Château de Fontainebleau, I couldn't resist taking a quick tour of its open-air market, which was fabulous. I found the most delicious saucisses sèches (dry sausages), made of duck and turkey, and some with chorizo made from poultry meat, which tasted even better than the ones I remember from my childhood.
Servings: 2 servings
12 large raw oysters
1 teaspoon candied ginger, finely chopped
2 pickled piquante peppers, diced
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
1 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons chervil, chopped
3 ounces chorizo, finely diced
2 teaspoons hazelnut powder (optional)
Ask your fishmonger to prep the oysters in advance for you. Place the oysters on a large serving platter.
Peel the lemon and gather all the zest. Juice the rest. Blanch (dip for a minute in boiling water then transfer to an ice bath). Repeat twice (see tips). Drain and pat dry the zest with a paper towel. Finely slice (julienne) the zest, then cut into small cubes. Place the zest in a small bowl. Add the diced red peppers, chorizo, ginger, chervil, honey, lemon juice and hazelnut oil. Sprinkle with white pepper. Mix well.
Place a spoonful of the chorizo mixture into each oyster. Garnish with a little hazelnut powder.
Serve with baguette and a little butter, mmmm, butter!
Eat immediately to enjoy optimum freshness.
I used candied ginger; you could use pickled ginger if you prefer.
You can find the pickled red peppers on Amazon.
Blanching the lemon zest several times helps lessen the bitterness of the lemon.
It was so cold in Fontainebleau!