Last night for a small dinner party at home, I thought I should have an appetizer other than a cheese tray (kills your appetite) or cold cuts (I had made the country pâté* for first course), so I chose something local that is often under-rated just because we see it at the store year-round, Fanny Bay Pacific oysters. I wanted an appetizer that was light, easy to eat, and out of the ordinary so presentation was important. I ended serving two small oysters, each topped with a cream of watercress in a small expresso cup. That oyster “shot” put everyone in a good mood.
Three bunches of watercress, cleaned, blenched 3 minutes with a clove of garlic, then chopped as fine as possible, mixed with 1/2 cup cream and heated on low made for a very simple but tasty sauce, that would not overpower the taste of the oysters.
Just when the guests arrived, I sauteed the oysters in olive oil for 5 minutes adding a tsp fresh grated ginger and a tbsp balsamic at the end. Each friend then grabbed a little expresso cup that I filled two oysters and 3 tbsp watercress sauce. This was gone in one slurp, just like a shot of Vodka. In fact next New Year’ s eve, I will have those again with a shot of Vodka on the side.
I know that here, on the West Coast, Fanny Bay oysters are the ultimate 100 mile diet item, but not so in the rest of the world. So for the rest of the world, the same dish could be made with one Digby scallop or three bay scallops. Not so slurpy though… sorry!
Caution: Don’t read last night’s menu on an empty stomach!
Shot of Fanny Bay oyster with watercress sauce
Country Pâté with green salad*
Canada duck with yellow beet, white turnip, nugget potatoes, pine mushrooms and cherry jus.
Trio of dessert with Chocolate Mousse **,
Rhubarb cordial by Linda Saunders made with sparkling water or wine.
*June 3rd blog
** June 4 blog
*** May30th blog