Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oysters a la Mornay

Like the recipes for oyster cocktails and lobster cutlets, this one comes from the women's page of the Sydney Morning Herald. Readers were told that oysters could be kept fresh in their shells for four or five days by covering them with a brine solution - "four or five ounces of salt to a gallon of water"- and changing it each day. In this recipe the liquor from the freshly shucked oysters is stirred into the mornay sauce. My oysters came opened, rinsed and sitting on a black plastic tray, so I'll discard the shell water and stir a little fresh Sydney tap water and salt into the sauce.

18 oysters
¾ cup grated cheese
Juice of ½ lemon
1 cup milk
30g butter
1 tblsp plain flour
5 teasp Dijon mustard
Fresh breadcrumbs
Salt, Cayenne pepper

Remove the oysters from their shells, and pour off the liquid into a cup. Sprinkle the shells with a little grated cheese and replace the oysters. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour and cook stirring for a few seconds, then add the milk and oyster liquor, and stir till it boils and thickens. Remove from the stove, and stir in ½ cup of grated cheese, salt, pepper, mustard, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Cover the oysters with the cheese sauce, then sprinkle remaining cheese on top along with a few breadcrumbs. Place under a hot grill till golden brown, and serve immediately garnished with parsley.

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