LCBO Food & Drink Holiday 2020


Beausoleils are farmed in Miramichi Bay, New Brunswick.

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How to cook with oysters Fresh oysters have many delicious preparations beyond the raw bar. And if you ask your fishmonger to shuck them, it saves half the work. There are timeless baked dishes such as spinach-topped Rockefeller, and they respond particularly well to frying either in a tempura batter or cornmeal crust. To make the most of oysters and all their briny liquor, make a pot of our comforting chowder-like Oyster Stew (recipe at Designed by McMurray, the efficient pistol grip shucker won’t slip and allows you to open oysters with less force. Shucker Paddy Original Oyster Knife, $25,

For a primer on serving oysters at home, we tapped Patrick McMurray (, a world champion shucker and author of The Oyster Companion . Oysters 101 ASK AN EXPERT

Where is the best place to buy oysters? “Either a reputable fishmon- ger or an oyster bar. Any oyster bar will have oysters you can’t get anywhere else, and they’ll sell them to you whole or shucked. I work with; they’ll ship oysters any- where in Ontario. You can also go straight to the fisherman: Raspberry Point ( will ship directly from the water to anywhere in Canada.” Which varieties should people look for? “Any fishmonger will have Malpeques, which are from P.E.I. For a New Bruns- wick oyster, try Beausoleil, which come in a lovely little wooden box. When you see

33 oysters for $15, they’re wild P.E.I. oysters, which have an odd shape and are hard to open. Spend a couple extra bucks and get something easier to open.” What about washing and storing? “Cover them in wet paper towel and leave in the fridge until it’s time to open. Just before serving, put them in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. You’ll get them nice and cold, and all the surface dirt will come off.” What’s the best set-up for shucking? “Use a cookie sheet with a wet towel underneath as your shucking kit. It will help keep the kitchen clean. Wet a tea towel, make

a square and put an oyster in the “envelope.” Hold it like you mean it, keep your eyes on the oyster and work slowly. Insert the blade in the hinge like a key in a lock. Twist it; don’t open it like a paint can. Put the top shells down on the platter first so the shucked oysters won’t rock around.” What are the best sauces to serve with oysters? “Other than lemon wedges, do the classics: mignon- ette, cocktail sauce and hot sauce, either Tabasco or Frank’s. For me, I don’t do sauce. Just a nice glass of Chablis.”


Watch Patrick McMurray open an oyster at I



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