We have settled in nicely on the MS Statendam, our new home away from home. I love being out on the water, the motion of the ship lulls me. I have always enjoyed being on or near the water. In my younger days I dreamed of living on a sailboat or a small yacht. As I grew older I modified my dream from living on a boat to a home near the water where I could own a small craft that I would allow me to glide out onto the ocean at a moment's whim or fancy. The vessel could be as small as a kayak, as long as it could carry me out onto the water I would be perfectly satisfied.
We did our first demonstration today. Aptly enough, the theme was seafood. Our first recipe was for oysters draped in a yuzu vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is set into a thin gelee, which is cut into rectangles and draped over the oysters. We've learned that flexibility and a sense of humor are all we need to overcome any small snafus in our performances. Today the vinaigrette was set into a soft jelly and spooned onto the shucked mollusks. We had fun with our audience and enjoyed sharing a spotlight once again. One of the very best things about cooking is sharing what we do.
After the demonstration we the audience stopped by to taste the prepared dishes. One woman who came up to me had never tasted a raw oyster. She had been led to believe that they had to be swallowed whole. Understandable the idea of sliding an entire oyster down her throat had given her pause. She was delighted to realize that were meant to be chewed, to release their flavors and to better appreciate their peculiar, silky textures. I gave her one draped in vinaigrette and she was a convert. It made my day. There's nothing like seeing someone experience something new and wonderful for the first time.
So, without further ado here is the recipe for our oysters draped in yuzu vinaigrette. It is meant to feed four people but if you love oysters as we do, it will only feed two. Use whichever oysters you have access to and love most. I prefer them small and sweet but their flavors are as myriad as their places of origin.
Oysters Draped in Yuzu Vinaigrette
24 Fresh Oysters in their shells
1 cup of yuzu juice
1/2 cup of water
3 tablespoons of agave nectar
4 tablespoons of white soy sauce
2 sheets of gelatin bloomed in cold water
2 jalapenos finely minced
2 shallots finely minced
3 tablespoons sliced chives
Warm the water, soy sauce and agave nectar over a low heat. Add the bloomed gelatin and warm to melt. Add the yuzu juice. Stir the mixture until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the jalapeno and shallots to the mixture. Pour the mixture onto a plastic wrap lined sheet pan. Place the pan into the refrigerator to chill.
Use an oyster knife to open the oysters. Set aside. Remove the yuzu gelatin from the refrigerator and cut into one-inch squares. Place a square on top of each oyster. Sprinkle with chives.