Oyster Progression

Components:

  • Oysters: 2 each of the following varieties

    • Kumamoto

    • Blue Point

    • Olympia

    • Kusshi

  • Garniture:

    • Lime granita; Olive Oil

    • Lobster Consommé; Tomato Water; Saffron rouille; Espelette chip

    • Dashi; Hoisin glaze; Pickled cucumbers

    • Dredge and batter; Siracha; Lemon crème fraiche

 

Lime Granita

Yield: 1 pint

Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

Place the sugar and water in a small saucepot, heat over high heat while whisking until the sugar is completely dissolved and comes to a simmer. Strain the simple syrup into a container and add the lime juice. Pour the mixture into a baking pan or hotel pan and place in the freezer to solidify. Stir the granita after 8 minutes to encourage even freezing. Once frozen, either break up the granita into chunks and grate onto the Kumamoto oysters with a Microplane or scrape the granita with a fork and place the shavings atop each oyster. Finish the Kumamoto oysters with three drops of extra virgin olive oil each.

Lobster Consommé

Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 3 whole live lobsters

  • 1 pint tomato paste

  • 1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally

  • 2 heads fennel, cut in large chunks

  • 2 white onions, quartered

  • 1 bunch tarragon

  • ½ bunch thyme

  • 2 stalks lemongrass

  • 6 each Kaffir lime leaves

  • 4 eggs, whites only

  • 1 leek, small diced and washed

  • 3 stalks celery, small diced

  • 8 sheets gelatin, bloomed in ice water

 

Method

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Hold each lobster flat on the cutting board and apply pressure to the midsection for stability. Place the tip of a chef’s knife directly through the cross section on the back of the lobster’s head and cut completely through. This immediately cuts off the nervous system and prevents the lobster from feeling any further pain. Bend the head backwards, with the tail flat on the board and make a small slit into the tail where it meets the torso. Twist the head and body section of the lobster from the tail to separate the tail from the body. Press your thumb against the bottom flap of the tail and shake quickly over a trash can to cleanly dispense the green roe sac to prevent it from bleeding onto the cooked meat when cooked. Reserve the tails for another Pursuit of Passion recipe. Twist the claws and knuckles from the body of the lobster. Separate the claws from the knuckles using a towel to protect your hand. Keep the larger claws separate from the small claws and the knuckles and tails separate as well. Making the lobster stock begins with the cleaning of the bodies. Separate the legs from the body and trim off the gills. Rinse the leg and body sections and arrange in an even layer on a sheet pan with a rack. Roast the bodies in a 350-degree oven until they turn red, coat with the tomato paste evenly and return to the oven until the tomato paste is deep brown, but not burnt. Transfer the bodies to a large pot, add the garlic, onion, fennel, thyme, tarragon, lemongrass, and Kefir lime leaves, and cover with water. Gently simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the lobster stock through a chinois, pressing the shells against the strainer to thoroughly extract the flavorful liquid. Allow the stock to cool completely.

Cook the lobster parts in one-minute increments in the pot of boiling salted water. Begin with the large claws for one minute, add the small claws for another minute, and finally the knuckles for one last minute. Strain all the lobster in a colander and plunge into an ice bath. Extract the lobster meat from the shells and place in a food processor along with the leek and celery. Pulse until chopped, add the egg whites and mix to emulsify.

Place the cool lobster stock in a pot, add the meat and egg white mixture, turn on high heat and whisk gently, but frequently. Once the stock comes to a simmer, turn the heat to low, and gently stir with a wooden spoon to promote the development of a raft that will serve to filter the impurities. Use a ladle to create a small hole in the top of the raft through which to consistently baste with the stock to achieve optimal clarity. Cook the consommé for one hour, then strain into a cheesecloth- lined chinois, using the ladle to scoop out the broth little by little. Squeeze the bloomed gelatin sheets to remove excess water and whisk the sheets, one by one, into the consommé. Strain the consommé onto a flat surface and chill until set.

Tomato Water

Yield: One pint

Ingredients

  • 6 beefsteak tomatoes, quartered

  • 2 Tbs Fine sea salt

 

Method

 

Pulse the tomatoes and salt in a food processor and pulse to a liquid consistency. Pour the mixture into a colander lined with a damp cloth and allow the liquid to drain slowly for several hours.

 

Saffron Rouille

Yield: One pint

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks (approximately 8 ounces)

  • 1 tsp fresh saffron

  • ½ cup lemon juice

  • 1 Tbs kosher salt

  • 2 cups canola oil

 

Method

 

Place egg yolks, saffron, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor and blend to combine. While spinning, slowly stream the oil into the food processor until all the oil is emulsified thoroughly.

 

Espelette Chip

Yield: About 20 chips

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon canola oil

  • 1 Yukon Gold potato, peeled

  • Kosher salt

  • ½ tsp Espelette pepper

 

Method

 

Heat oil in a medium sauce pot to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Shave the potato on a mandolin to achieve 1/8th inch thick slices. Use a small ring cutter to punch circles out of the slices. Carefully lay the potatoes in the oil, one at a time. Gently move the potatoes in the oil with a perforated spoon or spatula to encourage even cooking and prevent sticking. Once bubbling slows flip the rounds over. As the potatoes begin to take on a light golden-brown color, remove them from the oil and lay on paper towels. Sprinkle salt evenly over the potatoes and finish with the Espelette pepper.

 

Plating

Carefully remove the Blue Point oyster from its shell without emptying the natural juice. Add one teaspoon of the tomato water and return the oyster to the shell. Carve an oval slice out of the lobster gelee and lay it atop the oyster to cover. Lean the Espelette chip on the oyster and top with the saffron aioli.

 

Dashi

Yield: 1 gallon

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Kombu sheets

  • 4 quarts water

  • 8 ounces Bonito flakes

  • 1 cup Mirin

  • 1 cup sake

  • 2 cups soy sauce

 

Method

Gently rub the kombu sheets clean with a damp towel and steep in the water in a large pot. Heat on medium heat to a simmer and cook the broth for one hour. Remove from the heat, strain through a chinois, and stir in the bonito flakes. Allow the broth to steep for 20 minutes and strain out the bonito flakes. Season the dashi with the mirin, sake and 1 ¾ cup of soy sauce. Gently poach the Olympia oyster in the dashi to warm it through.

Hoisin Glaze

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup hoisin sauce

  • ¼ cup soy sauce

Method

Whisk hoisin and soy sauce together and brush on the poached Olympia oyster.

 

Pickled Cucumbers

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 English cucumber

  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar

  • ¼ cup kosher salt

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 2 ounces ginger, peeled and sliced thin

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed to release aroma

Method

Slice the cucumber 1/8th inch thick on a mandolin and place in a small bowl. Whisk together vinegar, salt, and sugar in a saucepot and heat to dissolve the salt and sugar thoroughly. Add ginger and lemongrass and gently heat until enough flavor is extracted that does not overwhelm the palate. Strain the hot liquid over the cucumbers and let cool.

Plating

Pour one teaspoon of the dashi into the shell of the Olympia oyster. Brush the poached oyster with the hoisin glaze and place neatly into the shell. Top the oyster with two slices of pickled cucumber. Use your favorite brand of seaweed crackers to ring punch an appropriate crunchy topping for the oyster.

Vanilla Buttermilk Marinade and Dredge

Yield: 1 pint marinade; 1 cup dredge

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon canola oil, heated in a pot to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

  • 1 pint buttermilk

  • 2 Tahitian Vanilla beans, split and scraped of seeds

  • 1 cup All- purpose flour

  • 2 Tbs kosher salt

  • 1 tsp Espelette pepper

Method

Whisk vanilla pods and seeds into the buttermilk and steep the freshly shucked Kusshi oyster along with its juice for 15 minutes. Mix the flour with salt and Espelette pepper, drain the oyster from the buttermilk, and liberally coat the oyster in the dredge. Fry the oyster in the oil until golden-brown, drain on paper towels, and season with kosher salt.

Lemon Crème Fraiche

Yield: ½ cup

Ingredients

  • ½ cup crème fraiche

  • 1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Method

Whisk all ingredients together to combine thoroughly.

Plating

Apply a few dots of Siracha hot sauce to the outside of the oyster shell. Place the fried oyster in the center of the shell and finish with a couple drops of the lemon crème fraiche.