- Course: Appetizer, Hors D'oeuvre
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 9 Times
Out of all the attempts to present an exciting easy-to-eat hors d’oeuvre, few please quite like these, simple, crisp, yet juicy morsels of, as Pat Conroy says, “the sea made flesh.” We serve fried oysters “in the shell,” with the sauce resting in the bottom and the oyster sitting on top. Pass the oysters while they are still warm, and enjoy immediately!
For the rémoulade:
- 1 cup Homemade Mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon coarse mustard, such as Pommery
- ¼ cup chopped rinsed capers
- 2 tablespoons chopped cornichons
- 1 teaspoon chopped anchovy
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped blend of two herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, chervil, and/or tarragon
- 1 scant tablespoon finely diced shallot or grated onion
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Dash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Cholula
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of ½ lemon
For the oysters:
- 3 cups peanut oil for deep-frying
- 2 cups cornmeal
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 24 oysters, such as Apalachicola, Chesapeake, or bluepoint, shucked, bottom shells reserved, scrubbed and dried (if you have the fishmonger shuck the oysters, be sure to have him save the bottom shells)
Put the mayonnaise in a medium bowl, add the mustard, capers, cornichons anchovy, herbs, shallot, paprika, hot sauce, vinegar, lemon zest, and lemon juice and stir to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning; set aside.
Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over high heat until it registers 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer.
Meanwhile, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper, and cayenne in a shallow bowl. Put the buttermilk in another shallow bowl and add the oysters. One by one, transfer the oysters from the buttermilk to the cornmeal mixture, turning to coat thoroughly, and place the oysters on a rack set over a small baking sheet.
Place a spoonful of the rémoulade in each clean oyster shell and arrange on a serving platter.
Carefully drop the oysters, in batches of about 6 at a time, into the hot oil and cook, turning once or twice, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Place the fried oysters in the shells and serve.
To Drink: Sancerre, Delaporte Pouilly-Fumé, Gaudry
© 2004 Frank Stitt
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving, but does not include Homemade Mayonnaise. For nutritional information on Homemade Mayonnaise, please follow the link above.