David Kinch is the chef-proprietor of the Manresa restaurant in San Francisco. See also our interview with Kinch and fellow San Franciscan chefs Charles Phan of the Slanted Door and Todd Humphries of the Martini House, The Eats of San Francisco.
"To me, oysters are nature's perfect food. In season I have to try and keep a couple of preparations on the menu. This is a prepared oyster dish that is served chilled, and it is very wine-friendly," said Kinch. "It is also an oyster dish that gets better the next day after you make it and can be prepared in advance."
- 40 medium oysters
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 100g carrot
- 100g onion
- 100g leek
- Sea salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 200ml olive oil, Catalan-style, low acidity
- 1 small guindilla pepper
- 40ml sherry vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh ground black pepper, butcher's grind
- 3tbs chives, minced
For the oyster froth
- Oyster water plus still mineral water to equal 200ml
- 5g lecithin
- Lemon juice to taste
Open the oysters and reserve the liquid. Season with lemon juice.
Cut a brunoise of carrots, onions and leeks. Blanch them separately and chill in ice water. Keep in water with a touch of salt.
Brown the garlic clove in a little of the oil. When it is golden, add the rest of the oil, the guindilla, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Add the vinegar and take off the fire and allow to cool. Poach the oysters in their liquid until the edges just start to curl.
Add the oysters and their liquid to the escabèche with the vegetables. Stir in the minced chives. Marinate in a cool place. It can be refrigerated but allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Gently warm the oyster water and blend in the lecithin. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.
To serve: place five oysters in a bowl and arrange them attractively. Spoon over some of the escabèche along with the vegetables as if dressing with a vinaigrette.
Froth the oyster juice with a hand-held blender or wand and spoon the froth on and around the oysters. Serve immediately.