An Oyster Recipe For Oyster-Phobes
The term 'oyster' refers not to a single species of animal but to a family of saltwater clams; these bivalve moluscs live in marine or brackish (mix of fresh and sea water) enironments and vary widely in shape and size depending on where they are were harvested.
Oysters have long been popular at dinner parties and on special occasions because of their salty yet delicate flavour and theif incredible versatility in how many ways of preparing, cooking and eating them there are.
If you have never tried oyster, I would highly recommend them although many people write them off completely because of the myth that you have to eat them raw. Whilst some people do choose to eat oysters straight from the shell, I personally love eating cooked oysters with a smile sauce and/or garnish.
Here is one of my favourite recipes for sautéed oysters on buttery toast. It is an ideal introduction to oysters if you haven't ever eaten them before and you'll have plenty of oyster shells to make a few home décor items.
- 24 fresh oysters
- handful parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 6 slices buttered toast
- pinch salt and pepper
- 4oz butter
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 white onion, chopped
Buttery Oysters Sautéed In A White Wine Sauce
- Shucking oysters is not in everyone's list of culinary skills and it can be relatively dangerous even for those who do it regularly, so to get the oysters open, put them in an oven-proof dish and cover with foil. Put them in the oven for about 60 seconds under the grill and eventually they will start to open, just a little - enough to then be prised open fully with a spoon.
- Melt the butter in a skillet or frying pan and add the chopped onion. Sauté until the onions have softened and are fragrant. Add the salt and pepper, tarragon, white wine and oysters and cook until the oysters start curling at the edges just slightly, keeping them covered as much as possible in the sauce.
- Divide the oysters between the six slices of buttered toast (which can be left whole or cut, whichever you prefer), sprinkled with parsley and served straight away.
I'd Love To Know What You Think!
Now You Have The Shells
There are loads of things you can make for the home and garden with very little effort, only basic tools (if any) and little to no expense; resulting in useful or decorative designs that can be kept or given as gifts.
First-off, the single most simplistic idea for oyster shell halves is tea light holders. For many homes with a rustic or beach theme, they really fit in nd are a great conversation starter as there are plenty of people who need inspiration for what to do with their own leftover oyster shells.
If you live near a beach, oyster shells provide great natural digging tools for children. Using them also means you can leave them at the beach after you have used them thus naturally recycling them.
A Good Dremel
Oyster Shell Wind Chimes
These look great in gardens and conservatories; and the beauty of these wind chimes is although they are practically free to make, they make a lovely sound when a breeze picks up and also every one made is completely unique because the size, shape and colour of each shell differs so much.
The basic materials for an oyster shell wind chime are as follows:
- as many oyster shells as you like
- thread, string, wool, fabric or wire
- a dremel to make holes in the oyster shells
- paint or spray (if you want to colour the shells before making the wind chime)
- A piece of coconut or wood for the top of the wind chime
As you can see, there is no one correct way for making a wind chime and you can be as creative or simplistic with your design as you like. The round curve of a coconut looks great and is in keeping with the beach theme, though driftwood is perhaps more readily available and matches the desired look well.
How To Make An Oyster Shell Wind Chime
- Start off by drilling or piercing the coconut or driftwood in one, two or more places (these holes make up where the strings go, so take a minute to consider what type of design you are going to go for.)
- Thread the string or wire (or whichever material you selected), through the holes (one piece per hole) and make a thick knot at the top to prevent it slipping through. Sometimes this step requires a lot of knitting and a lot of patience!
- Before you thread your first oyster shell, consider any other materials you may want to use to make the design more textured or more interesting. You could use beads, for instance, which can be made of natural wood or be coloured glass ones. Before making any knots in the string or thread, this is a good time to try out different designs before settling on one.
- Once happy with your design, begin making knots after threading each oyster shell. This adds sturdiness to what can become a fairly heavy ornament. Remember you can put different amounts of beads or shells on each string and the length of the strings don't have to be the same.
- Tie a final knot in the end of each string or thread through another piece of coconut or wood at each end (make sure it isn't one solid piece of wood at the end otherwise your wind chime won't be making any sound!)
- Make two more final holes at the top piece of wood or coconut and thread some string through, tying it to make it possible to hang up.