This mignonette recipe is my very favorite - the sweetness of the carrot, paired with the bite of the vinegar, shallot and black pepper seems to be the perfect combination to enhance the flavor of a fresh oyster. Do make the time to freeze this mixture for exactly 30 minutes to create a slushy - the coolness of the partially frozen mignonette adds another layer of sensory delight to the oyster experience that is just delicious.
~creates topping for one dozen oysters~
- 2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon very finely minced shallot
- 1 Tablespoon very finely minced shredded carrot
- sprinkle black pepper
This is the time to bust out your best tiny mincing skills - the smaller the mince, the better for this condiment! Peel and mince a shallot, grate and then re-chop the carrot and place both of these in a shallow dish. Add the vinegar and the sprinkle of pepper and stir to combine. Place the dish in the freezer and set your timer for 30 minutes.
While your mignonette is solidifying a bit, shuck your oysters! There's a bunch of great video tutorials online including the one that our friends at Taylor Shellfish have published.
Basically, you want to insert your oyster knife into the hinge of the oyster in the back, with the rounded part of the oyster pointing down, and the flat side on top. Apply pressure (this is where a glove or some protective towel is required) to insert the knife into the oyster, then give it a twist. Run the knife along the inside top of the shell to detach the top mussel, then pull the top of the shell off. Taking care not to tip out too much of the tasty oyster juice, remove any shell debris with the knife, and then detach the oyster mussel on the bottom of the shell so the oyster is free to move. Place your oyster on a plate or in a bed of ice and keep it cold while you repeat the process with the remaining oysters you have.
Once your mignonette is frosty and slushy, give it a stir to break it up and then top your oysters with a small spoonful. Now gather your friends and... slurp!