To shuck oysters
- Safety first: Wrap the hand that you’ll use to hold the oyster in a dishtowel. Set the oyster on a flat surface and hold it down with your towel-wrapped hand.
- Pop the hinge: When you look at the oyster, you should see that it starts at a point and then flares outward into its shell shape. The hinge is located at the original point. Insert the oyster knife next to the hinge, wiggling it around until you feel it slip inside the shell. Give the knife a twist and you should feel the hinge pop.
- Separate the shells: Keeping the tip of the knife still inside the oyster, run it between the shells toward the top. Once you get to the top, twist the knife again to separate the top and the bottom shells.
- Separate the oyster: Slide your knife under the oyster and cut through the muscles holding it to the shell.
- Slurp and Enjoy: The natural way to consume an oyster is to slurp the meat straight from the shell, usually with a dash of your favorite flavor to liven things up. If you prefer to be more civilized, you can always use a fork to scoop the meat.
- ½ tsp. fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
- 7 TBSP unsalted butter
- ¼ c. small to medium sage leaves, plus 36 small leaves for garnish
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 TBSP tequila
- Kosher salt
- Rock salt, for serving
- 3 dozed medium oysters, scrubbed
- in a skillet, toast the fennel seeds and crushed red pepper over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to mortar and let cool completely. With a pestle, grind the spices to a coarse powder; transfer to a bowl
- In the same skillet, cook 3 ½ TBSP of the butter over moderate heat until it starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the ¼ cup of sage and cook, turning once, until crisp, 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sage to a plate. Pour the browned butter into the bowl with the spices. Repeat with the remaining butter and the 36 sage leaves; reserve the leaves for garnish.
- Add the first batch of fried sage leaves to the mortar and crush them wit the pestle. Add the crushed sage to the butter along wit the oregano, lemon juice and tequila and season with salt. Keep warm.
- Light a grill. Line a platter with rock salt. Grill the oysters, flat side up, over high heat until they open (1-2 minutes). Discard the flat top shell and place the oysters on the rock salt, being careful not to spill their liquor. Spoon the warm tequila butter over the oysters, garnish each one with a crisp sage leaf and serve.