From my father, I inherited a fierce love for fresh oysters.
If there was ever a moment I didn’t love raw oysters, I don’t remember it. As a kid, I ate my weight in oysters and any buffet worth visiting had fresh oysters in it’s offerings. Those in our family who loved them would eat a plate piled high. As a young adult, I once (or twice) turned up to family gatherings armed with several dozen shucked oysters on a polystyrene box, knowing they would go down a treat.
Oysters are cheaper and fresher if you shuck them yourself but I’d never shucked oysters before. I vaguely remember my uncle wrestling with oysters but that didn’t interest me as a kid – I just wanted to eat them. In anticipation of the Te Matuku Oyster Festival on Waiheke this Saturday, I had the opportunity to shuck and cook up some plump Waiheke oysters. I’m no pro yet, so I won’t be sharing any shucking tips but I watched a bunch of Youtube videos (including this video and this video) and got stuck in.
(Thanks to The Koala for these photos)
I love raw oysters, but if you prefer cooked, this one is for you. I’ve combined and collaborated with two beloved Waiheke names: Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and Te Matuku Oysters to make Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick.
Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney recently won People’s Choice at the NZ Food Awards so if you haven’t tried it already, I suggest you hustle to your closest retailer for a jar or two.
This recipe has been taste tested by a panel of two hungry men who pronounced these delicious. I’ve suggested 12 oysters to feed 2-4 people as a starter but this really depends on your appetites. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled depending on your requirements. I have no trouble putting away a dozen on my own so no judgement from me if you want more oysters to feed less people, but any less than 3 oysters each is probably going to star a war. You have been warned.
Oysters Tamarind Kilpatrick
Serves 2-4 as a starter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 rashers streaky bacon, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 3 tablespoons Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney
- Rock salt or aluminium foil
- 12 half shell oysters
- Black pepper
- Lemon wedges and chopped coriander to serve
- Preheat grill (broiler) to 200°C.
- Heat oil in a small frying pan, on medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Add onion and cook for 1 minute until softened.
- In a small bowl, melt butter (microwave 10-20 seconds) then add Jenny’s Tamarind Chutney and the bacon and onion. Stir to combine.
- Lay rock salt or scrunched-up foil on a baking tray to form a stable surface to rest oysters on top in a single layer.
- Divide bacon and chutney mixture among the shells and grill for 4 minutes.
- Season with freshly ground black pepper, scatter with chopped coriander and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Te Matuku Oyster Festival is Saturday 5 November from 12pm and tickets are $45pp or $80pp for a package including transfers and ferry. All tickets include your first 3 oysters, a festival glass and a wine or beer. Visit iTicket to purchase tickets to Te Matuku Oyster Festival.
This post is part of Our Growing Edge, a monthly blogging event to encourage bloggers to try new food related things.
This month’s host is Alicia from Alicia’s Bits n Bobs.
If you have a blog and you are eating or cooking something new this month, click below to join. More information here.