Need some food inspiration for the Easter weekend? Here are three ways Chef Lachlan Colwill enjoys Oysters. The perfect accompaniment for your Easter lunch and a delicious pairing with our sparkling wines.
12 live oysters
120ml quality red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Pinch of salt (optional)
Peel then finely dice the shallots, cutting almost to a minced like texture. Add the shallots to the red wine vinegar, add freshly cracked pepper and season with a pinch of salt (the salt can be optional as the dressing may be seasoned enough without it).
Shuck the oysters and arrange on a plate, seasoning each oyster with roughly a teaspoon or two of the dressing. Eat straight after dressing.
12 live oysters
150ml good quality milk
50ml good quality cream
50ml sour cream
2 dried shiitake mushrooms
Light soy sauce, to taste
Salt, to taste
Place the shiitake mushrooms in the milk and soak in a sealed container overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours. Once this step is complete place the milk in a small pot and gently heat to just warm the milk (do not boil). Once the milk is around 70 degrees, take away from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature. This step is to give the shiitakes a good chance to infuse their flavour into the milk and bring out a slight umami profile. Strain the milk through a fine sieve into a fresh bowl then add the cream and sour cream and work together until combined. Season this mixture with either light soy sauce (Mega chefs Gluten free soy sauce works great) or season with salt if you prefer a somewhat milkier taste to the dressing.
500ml grape seed oil
600gm mixed greens (nasturtium leaf, parsley, fennel, dill, spring onion tops etc.)
This recipe can be made with mixed greens or individual leaves and herbs to make base oils. For example, if you just want to make parsley oil simply just make the recipe using just 600gm parsley instead of mixed herbs, although making a mixed green oil is often better in a home environment because you may not have access to 600gm of just one herb or leaf, that 600gm could be made up from whatever you have, so long as it green!
Pick down your greens to remove any stems then place all 600gm in a blender (the higher powered the better, think thermomix.) In a small pot, heat the grape seed oil to 80 degrees, once it has reached 80 degrees pour into the blender directly over the greens then proceed to blend this mixture starting on low to get it incorporating then on high speed for roughly 5 minutes or until it looks like a fine pulp. You may need to scrape down the sides of the jug multiple times to get all the greens full incorporating into the oil. Remove this mixture from the blender and chill instantly to stop the cooking process (failing this step can cause the oil to brown) once fully chilled strain the mixture reserving the oil to season the oysters.
Shuck the fresh oysters and arrange on a serving plate. Season with roughly a tablespoon of the seasoned milk then a few drops of the green oil. Eat straight after dressing.
300gm dried shiitake mushrooms
1 sheet dried kelp
Place the dried shiitakes in a stock pot with the water, wash the kelp lightly and add to the pot. Place on a gentle heat and bring to a soft boil, once just boiled turn down and gently simmer for one hour, then turn heat off and leave stock to cool at room temperature. Once cool strain the stock, discarding the kelp but keeping the liquid in a pot and shiitakes in a bowl for use in the XO sauce.
300gm pre soaked shiitakes (from stock recipe)
10 shallots (minced)
15 garlic cloves (minced)
100gm fresh ginger (minced)
50gm Chinese chilli flakes (more or less can be added depending on your chilli tolerance)
50gm Korean chilli flakes (same as above)
500ml grape seed oil
250ml sesame oil
Light soy sauce
Rice wine vinegar
In a large wide based pot or stock pot heat the oils until they ripple, add the minced onion, garlic and ginger and cook over medium heat to slowly start a caramelising process. While this mixture is cooking place the pre soaked shiitakes in a blender and blend in pulses to achieve a fine dice (not a puree). Add the chilli flakes to the caramelising onion and garlic mixture and continue to cook until the chilli becomes fragrant and start to leach their deep red colour into the mixture. Add the chopped shiitakes to the mix and stir to combine, then add enough shiitake stock just to cover. Turn the heat to low and continue to cook this mixture for a minimum of 2 hours, adding stock as needed to stop the mixture sticking or drying out. Taste test the mixture as you reach this stage and adjust the seasoning levels to your preference with sesame oil, light soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Once you are happy with the flavour and texture of the sauce, any excess stock can be saved and used to make Dashi Custard or as a base for noodle broth.
To serve, build a fire, light the wood oven, or setup a BBQ with charcoal. In a small pot melt roughly 3 tablespoons of butter and cook until the milk solids have browned, once browned add roughly 5 tablespoons of the xo sauce and stir together. Shuck the oysters and place some of the xo sauce mixture on each oyster, place them directly on hot coals or within the wood oven and cook until the juices in the oyster shells start to bubble and are hot. Enjoy...
Alternatively, you could place the oysters prior to shucking over the coals or in the oven and wait for the lids to pop open, quickly remove the oysters from the coals/heat, shuck the lids and season the now cooked oyster with warmed xo sauce mixture.