Posts Tagged ‘oysters’

Oyster mushroom_9884


A couple of weeks ago I rediscovered the Chelsea Market – a spot called by its founders “an urban food court.”  Oh, I knew it was there, but just too out-of-the-way for everyday food shopping.  Located on 9th Avenue about 16th Street in the old National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) factory, many of the artifacts of its previous life remain which makes a visit there a little bit other-worldly.  Running along the center courtyard-like hall are wonderful food shops offering prime and sometimes unique products.  Since everything is so inviting, it is yet another place that tends to make me spend more than I have in my pocket.

Manhattan Fruit Exchange is one of my favorite shops in the Market.  They have been around forever supplying restaurants, but are most welcoming to everyday shoppers.  You can always find an array of exotic fruits and vegetables, the first products of the every season, and a wide variety of fresh and dried mushrooms and herbs.  It was the mushrooms that caught my eye the other day – especially a beautiful stack of floral oyster mushrooms.  I couldn’t resist buying a big lump of fresh-looking “petals.”  Along with the mushrooms I got some of the best spring asparagus and a few spring onions and I knew exactly what I’d do when I got home.

Here’s my plan:  I trimmed the asparagus, split the onions in half, lengthwise, and laid them out on a baking pan along with my bouquet of mushrooms.  I seasoned with sea salt and pepper, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and added some fresh orange and lemon juice to the pan.  Roasted them all together in a hot oven to serve as an appetizer (with a spritzing of aged balsamic) for a little quiet welcome spring dinner.  Yum, yum, yum!






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I think that oysters are the one food that most people take a long time to come around to liking.   Their looks impede the progress, I think, although I find the shells quite beautiful.  They are also one of those foods that get you to wondering about the first person who had the smarts to figure out that there was something delicious inside that shell.  I’ll bet the first taste-tester was an otter, a raccoon, or some primitive relative of either of them.  Then, humans saw the clever creature slurping up the sweet-salty mollusk and, as they say, culinary history was made.
On our annual Provincetown run, raw oysters are on the menu every night – usually with a glass of champagne or prosecco.  We never tire of them.  Sometimes I make a mignonette – the classic French dipping sauce – but usually we simply eat them “au naturelle” because they are so fresh, so saline, so sweet, so meaty that they need nothing to accent their almost indefinable taste.   Either way, if you are not an oyster lover, I encourage you to close your eyes and lift one to your lips – give a quick slurp and enjoy the wonderfully sensual taste and texture of a perfectly fresh oyster on your palate.  You will become a convert!

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You either love ‘em or hate ‘em – I’ve found there is no in-between.  We happen to be a family that loves them.  Steve and I have just returned from our annual fall visit to Provincetown where oysters are on the menu every day.  Always on the half shell – never fancied up.  No mignonette, no lemon, no dippin’ or drizzlin’ at all – we just slurp them right from the shell.  This year they were particularly salty/sweet and very plump.  I don’t offer a recipe ‘cause, for us, only nature can provide the perfect dish – just some photos so you can enjoy our feasts just a bit.  And, along with the oysters, Steve shares a snap of Lynn’s (our vacationing buddy) found beach treasures.  The little starfish seemed to be everywhere on the beach – some struggling to make it back to the water and some for whom it was too late to make the dash.



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