Italian style “Oysters au Gratin” by Cristian Marino

Oysters au gratin in Prosecco sauce
Oysters au gratin with Prosecco sauce are a refined appetizer and particularly suitable for those who do not eat raw shellfish.

Oysters au gratin with prosecco wine sauce, an elegant seafood appetizer of great Italian or French character ( in case you prefers Champagne wine ) , are a “special” dish to be served to guests as an entrée on important occasions such the festive season and particularly suitable for inclusion in the menu of any special event or why not for a romantic dinner.

Cristian Marino , oyster au gratin

Ingredients for 2 people:

12 very fresh oysters;
1 kilo of salt;
1/2 bottle of prosecco;
4 egg yolks;
180 grams of butter;
1 lemon;
Salt and Pepper To Taste;
lemon wedges, tomato strips, parsley sprigs to decorate.

Preparation of oysters

Take an oyster, protecting your hand with a cloth to open the oysters without hurting yourself, holding the oyster opener in the other hand, insert the tip of the blade into the slot in the shell and rotate the tool so that the shells open .

Remove the muscle from the superior valve and eliminate it; also detach the muscle of the lower one (keep, however, the concave shell), gently extract the mollusk and put it in a bowl together with its liquid of vegetation.

Proceed like this with all 12 shells.

Carefully brush the preserved valves, rinse them under running water and dry them.

Take a large pan with low edges, line the inside with crumpled kitchen aluminum, make a layer of coarse salt (the salt and the well-arranged aluminum are used to keep the oysters straight during cooking), arrange the shells , fill each with 1 oyster and its liquid and refrigerate until ready to grill the oysters.
Preparation of the prosecco sauce.

Peel the shallots, wash them, dry them and dice them.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, skim it, remove it from the heat and let it cool a little.

Put the diced shallot in another saucepan, pour 300 milliliters of Prosecco in it and cook over low heat until the liquid has reduced to 3-4 tablespoons; then turn off the heat and let it cool slightly.

Now is the time for the delicate phase: follow the instructions carefully to ensure that the Champagne sauce does not “go crazy”.

Take a large heat-resistant bowl, pour in the egg yolks, the shallot and Prosecco mixture and the liquid from the oysters.

Place the bowl on a pan containing hot, but not boiling water, making sure that the bottom of the container does not come into contact with the hot water so as not to overheat the sauce and drive it crazy.

Whip the mixture with the whisk until it becomes thick and will fall like a ribbon if you lift the whisk.

Then remove the pan with the hot water and add the clarified butter to the bowl, very slowly and stirring constantly.

The butter should not be too hot and should not be added too quickly to avoid the risk of the sauce separating.

Then, still mixing with a whisk, add the remaining Prosecco.Final part

Turn on the grill, pour 1-2 tablespoons of sauce over each oyster, put the pan in the oven and brown the oysters 10 centimeters from the grill until they have turned a light golden color and are only slightly cooked under the sauce (1- 2 minutes).

As with “Rockefeller Oysters “ and other “au gratin” shellfish preparations, be careful to grill them for only a very short time.

Spread the oysters au gratin with prosecco on individual plates or on a large serving platter , garnishing with lime wedges (you can also use lemon), sprigs of parsley and making sure that the garnish act as a support and hold the oysters au gratin in place.

Buon Appetito

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