Oysters with smoked hollandaise sauce

Oysters with smoked hollandaise sauce

By
From
Everyday Seafood
Serves
4 as a starter

This is a fun dish to serve as a warm canapé or starter. I really like the way oysters – and their shells – give off an amazing aroma of the sea when you grill them. The smoked hollandaise is down to the genius of my head chef, Chris Simpson. I’ve also cooked these oysters on a barbecue – the additional smoke works wonders, so give it a go if you get the chance. Scallops in the shell and half lobsters are also great served this way.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
12 live rock oysters
400g rock salt, for grilling, plus extra to serve
1 lemon, peeled, pith removed and cut into segments

For the smoked hollandaise sauce

Quantity Ingredient
250g smoked butter
3 egg yolks
1/2 lemon, juiced
cayenne pepper, to taste
sea salt
dill leaves, finely chopped, to finish

Method

  1. Open the oysters and prise off the top shell. Drain off the juices. Cut the muscle to release the oyster but leave it in the rounded shell; check for any fragments of shell.
  2. Preheat your grill to its highest setting and line a grill tray with enough salt to sit the oysters on to hold them steady. (If you don’t have enough salt, make small foil rings to support the oyster shells.)
  3. To make the hollandaise, melt the smoked butter in a pan over a medium heat until it begins to bubble, then remove from the heat and leave to cool until tepid. Meanwhile, put the egg yolks and lemon juice in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water set over a medium-low heat, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Whisk until the mixture thickens enough to form ribbons when you lift the beaters.
  4. Remove the bowl from the pan and slowly whisk in the melted butter. Once it is all incorporated, season the hollandaise with cayenne pepper and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary, adding a little more lemon juice too, if you think it is needed. Keep warm while you grill the oysters.
  5. Lay the oysters in their shells on the prepared tray and place under the grill for 3 minutes. Remove from the grill. Place a lemon segment on each oyster and then spoon on some hollandaise. Put back under the grill for a minute or so, until the hollandaise is just starting to brown.
  6. Finish with a sprinkling of chopped dill and a little more cayenne pepper. Serve immediately, on a bed of salt.
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