Maison Bleue’s chef patron Pascal Canevet believes there’s only one way to celebrate springtime. . . with oysters and champagne!
Celebrate springtime with the fresh, heavenly taste of local oysters and champagne. Fabulous as a starter this recipe is easy to prepare; it’s a truly delicious alternative to the classic shallot vinaigrette oyster-lovers adore. Taking the time to treat the family has so many benefits and this is a showstopper!
Oysters naturally vary in taste across the UK, gaining their flavour, like wine, from their terroir. British oysters have a depth of flavour, and our East Anglian coastline offers an abundance from September to April. You can buy fresh oysters direct from Norfolk and Suffolk fishermen’s huts or your local fishmongers. An excellent source of protein and packed with zinc, iron, calcium and vitamins A, C and B12 oysters’ nutritional benefits are often overlooked by their acclaimed aphrodisiac properties.
Take care when shucking (opening) oysters, protect your hand with a towel and use a knife with a thick blade that won’t break. Insert the blade into the hinge of the shell and simply twist.
LIGHTLY POACHED OYSTERS, CHAMPAGNE HOLLANDAISE MOUSSELINE, LEEK FONDUE
24 fresh Colchester rock oysters (6 per person)
2 egg yolks
125ml clarified butter
25ml whipping cream
150gr cleaned and chopped leeks
20gr salted butter
Coarse sea salt to steady the shells on the plates
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shuck the oysters over a bowl and strainer to catch the juices.
Scrape the shells clean and place the deepest half of the oyster’s shell on 4 separate plates on a bed of coarse sea salt to steady the shells.
Lightly poach the oysters in the oyster juice over medium heat for 1 min. Remove from heat.
To make the hollandaise:
Whip the cream to light soft peaks.
Place the egg yolk in a small pan and add the champagne. Warm the mixture very gently over a low heat while whisking constantly until the eggs reach a mousse like consistency.
Remove from heat and gently incorporate the clarified butter.
Continue whisking until all the butter is combined then gently add the whipped cream. Season to taste and set aside until ready to serve.
To make the leek fondue:
Melt the butter in a medium size pan. Add the leek and cook over moderate heat until the leek has softened. Season to taste.
To serve simply add a bed of leek into each oyster shell and gently place a poached oyster on top. Spoon over the oyster the hollandaise mousseline and season. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Blanc de Blanc Sparkling wine from Rathfinny Wine Estate, in East Sussex.
Produced from a blend of Chardonnay and aged for 36 months in the bottle. An elegant wine with a buttery fruitiness and freshness that perfectly complements the creamy hollandaise sauce, while the acidity and fizziness of the wine creates a lively contrast to the silkiness of the dish.
You can read more about Chef Pascal, Maison Bleue events and recipes at maisonbleueblog.co.uk
Pascal Canevet is chef-patron of award-winning Maison Bleue, an intimate fine-dining restaurant serving a modern French menu
Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds
Call 01284 760623