on the half shell
Steven Redzikowski, chef/owner of Oak at Fourteenth
in Boulder, Colo., offers a high-end oyster appetizer
featuring ahi tuna tartare with basil/honey vinaigrette.
“We were trying to think of different combinations to do
with oysters,” he says. “Everyone does a mignonette sauce,
which is traditional. Then I realized that when we trim ahi
tuna, we have leftovers that can be used for a tartare.”
Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar | Louisville, Ky.
2 cups béchamel sauce (recipe
4 oz. Pernod
1 cup diced cooked bacon
2 cups spinach, chopped,
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
24 raw oysters on the half-shell
Fresh ground pepper
350ºF for 12 minutes. Season
with salt and pepper, to taste.
Redzikowski finely dices sashimi-quality tuna and mixes
it with finely chopped basil, cilantro, mint, honey, fish
sauce, rice wine vinegar and olive oil. Then a shucked
oyster is left on the half shell, and a quenelle of the
dressed tuna is placed on top of the oyster. It is served
over crushed ice.
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1¼ cups milk, heated
Freshly ground pepper
“Our restaurant is focused on wood-fired food, which
usually has more robust and rich flavors,” says Redzikowski.
“We wanted to do lighter appetizers to start, so it’s not
overkill. This oyster appetizer is nice and refreshing to
start out with, so you’re not getting something heavy and
then something heavy again.”
METHOD: In large pan, bring
béchamel to a simmer. Add
Pernod; boil to remove alcohol.
Stir in bacon and spinach.
Remove from heat; fold in
Parmesan cheese. Cool mixture
in refrigerator for 1 hour. Top
oysters with enough mixture to
coat them completely. Bake at
METHOD: Melt butter in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in
flour; cook, stirring constantly,
until bubbles a bit, about 2
minutes. Add milk, continuing
to stir as sauce thickens.
Bring to a boil. Add salt and
pepper, to taste. Lower heat;
cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat.
LEFT: Raw oysters on the half shell find a home at white-tablecloth venues Arnaud’s
RIGHT: TJ’s fried oysters are served with a housemade rémoulade sauce and a few
drops of chili oil to add a little heat.