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Fried Oysters with Rémoulade

Serves: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 24 small shucked oysters
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  • Rémoulade
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cornichons or dill pickles
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped capers
  • 1½ tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 anchovy fillet, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Procedures:

Although I sometimes shuck fresh oysters for this dish, jarred oysters make the recipe a snap. Check that the liquid surrounding the oysters in the jar is clear, rather than cloudy, to ensure they’re good and fresh. These fried oysters are an element in the wonderful Spinach and Hearts of Palm Salad.
  1. For the rémoulade, stir together the mayonnaise, cornichons, capers, shallot, tomato paste, lemon juice, parsley, anchovy, mustard, tarragon, marjoram, and cayenne in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


  2. Drain the oysters in a strainer, then place them in a bowl and add the buttermilk. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours before continuing.


  3. Cover 1 baking sheet with a thin layer of flour and line another baking sheet with a couple layers of brown paper or paper towels. Combine the flour, plain and panko bread crumbs, lemon zest, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and stir to mix.


  4. Remove a few oysters at a time from the buttermilk and thoroughly coat them in the bread crumb mixture. Set the coated oysters on the floured baking sheet and continue with the remaining oysters. Let the oysters sit for about 15 minutes, then toss them once again in the bread crumb mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a deep fryer or large, deep pot, such as a Dutch oven (it's important the oil comes no more than halfway up the sides of the pan for safety). Heat the oil over medium heat to 375°F.


  6. Slip 4 or 5 of the coated oysters carefully into the hot oil and fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until nicely browned. Transfer the oysters to the paper-lined baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with salt, and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining oysters.


  7. Arrange the fried oysters on individual plates and spoon a generous dollop of rémoulade alongside.

by Sur La Table & Renée Behnke

 
 
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