Saturday morning following a long run on the beach, I headed over to Santa Monica Seafood to pick up two dozen oysters for dinner. There, I ran into friends Anne and Dudley, who were picking up an insane amount of seafood for a paella dinner party we went to on Sunday night (more on that later this week). Back to the oysters, on offer there were Kumamotos from Hog Island in Northern California. Kumamotos are rich and buttery and just a little bit sweet (if you ever see their sweetwaters available, they’re even better—briny smokey sweet). The Kumamotos are small and a little more manageable when it comes to shucking, though I think a gloveless Mr. Foodinista might beg to differ:
Yet gloveless, triumph he did over two dozen of these little guys. We cracked open a bottle of Charles Heidsieck blanc de blancs (crisp, dry with mineral notes—perfect with the oysters!) and served with my favorite mignonette, which has just a little heat from jalapeños—again, a match made in heaven with a crisp, dry Champagne. Here’s the recipe. Also, I used Vietnamese cilantro from our herb garden instead of traditional cilantro—but either way, totally addictive.
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup natural rice vinegar
1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
1 large Jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
juice of 1 lime