Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Oysters for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is around the corner, so it is time to pull out the heart shaped cookie cutters, and dust off the recipes for a great meal for two. For those of you who want something simple to start the night, my suggestion is oysters. Not only do they have famed aphrodisiac qualities, they are low in caklories and high in good things like zinc (click here for more nutrition info on the oyster). You can see I have served them here with a mignonette dressing I spotted on Steamy Kitchen (a great Asian cooking blog if you haven't discovered it yet), but if you have romance not cooking on your mind, good oysters really need nothing more than a squeeze of lemon.

And, in keeping with the Valentine's Day mood, I am giving you a poem from another fan of the oyster, Jonathon Swift of "Gulliver's Travels" fame.

(PS If you are looking for more Valentine's Day recipes, head over to Mele Cotte, who is doing a round up called Kitchen of Love 2009 . I'm sending this over to her as an appetizer)

"Oysters" by Jonathon Swift
Charming oysters I cry:
My masters, come buy,
So plump and so fresh,
So sweet is their flesh,
No Colchester oyster
Is sweeter and moister:
Your stomach they settle,
And rouse up your mettle:
They'll make you a dad
Of a lass or a lad;
And madam your wife
They'll please to the life;
Be she barren, be she old,
Be she slut, or be she scold,
Eat my oysters, and lie near her,
She'll be fruitful, never fear her.

Asian Mignonette Dressing from Steamy Kitchen
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons sweetened (seasoned) rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red peppercorns
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1 teaspoon finely minced shallots
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the Asian Mignonette ingredients. Set aside while you carefully shuck the oysters (or buy them pre-shucked from a good fish-monger). Serve the Asian Mignonette sprinkled over the oysters.


Rene Huey-Lipton said...

Suzie, thanks for the tip about Steamy Kitchen. I use something similar, although I add some mignonette pepper and a pinch of sugar (I find it brings out the rest of the flavors) on an avacado, beet and heart of palm salad. I am going to try it on Oysters now though this weekend.

Chris said...

Looks wonderful! Love the poem! Thanks for particpating in KOL!

Natashya said...

This is something that I want to learn how to prepare. I was reading that oysters and their cousins are very environmentally friendly food choices - and I have never handled them, even though hubby loves them.
Perhaps Valentine's should be my goal! - yours look so good!

As for cooking for Cook the Books - I would go ahead and make a great Middle Eastern meal and post - the book is full of misses and humour - the book not arriving in time will be right on theme!