simple treats of the sea made delicious
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Some people like their oysters served plain and others like a splash of tabasco or lemon juice with them. Some oyster fans even smother their oysters in cocktail sauce but this tends to mask their natural aroma and flavor quite a bit. A mignonette is the traditional oyster dressing and this is served on the side so people can choose whether or not to have it, and how much to have. Most people, if they are having mignonette, will use about 1/8 teaspoon of it per oyster.

You need to make this oyster dressing a minimum of four hours before serving it. In fact, it is best if you make it a couple of days beforehand, so the shallots can mellow and the other flavors can blend. The recipe calls for unseasoned rice vinegar. If you only have seasoned rice vinegar that is fine but you will need to leave out the sugar and salt because seasoned rice vinegar contains those already. You need to use crushed peppercorns for the best flavor. Pre-ground or powdered pepper would work at a pinch but is not as good.

‘Mignonette’ is French for small, cute, and tasty, and that is a pretty good description. It has quite a sharp flavor and makes a change from lemon juice. This oyster dressing contrasts nicely with the creaminess of the oysters.

Shallot Oyster Dressing with Vinegar
Summary: Although oysters can be served without a mignonette dressing, it is worth making one because it showcases the oysters perfectly, with its distinctive tangy and acidic flavor.
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Dressing
Serves: 2
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup clear unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1¼ teaspoons finely crushed white peppercorns
  • ⅛ teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ cup peeled, coarsely chopped shallots
  1. Put the shallots in a food processor and pulse until they are finely minced but not mushy.
  2. If you do not have a food processor, you can finely chop them by hand.
  3. Add the minced shallots and any liquid which came out of them in a nonreactive (glass or Pyrex is best) dish.
  4. Add the rice vinegar, white vinegar, salt, and sugar, and stir using a fork.
  5. Stir in the crushed peppercorns.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to a few days, but at least 4 hours.
  7. Serve the mignonette in a small bowl with a tiny spoon, alongside fresh raw oysters.
(Makes 1½ Cups)

Photo Description:

Oyster dressing is a personal preference. Some oyster fans choose to eat their oysters without any kind of dressing, whereas others might like one of the two creamy dressings in the photo or the mignonette oyster dressing in the light yellow dish. Although the green herbs shown do not feature in our recipe, you can add some slivers of fresh cilantro or parsley if you like. Oysters used to be cheap street food in another era but today they are a more expensive option. This is why it is worth serving a top quality oyster dressing alongside them.


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, my name is Christine. I am happy you are visiting today. Food is very important to everyone, and in this family we love to eat all kinds of dishes from meat and chicken to international cuisine, crockpot creations and more. Seafood is something we also love, and I love the fact it is nutritious as well as very tasty.

Everyone knows 'the big three' which are cod, tuna and salmon, but sometimes it is fun to try different types of fish, such as perch, trout, monkfish, or even shellfish like mussels or clams. There are seafood recipes for every season and occasion, those served chilled for a refreshing burst of flavor, and those served hot in stew or soup form.

Choose from crispy fried fish, tender pan-fried or poached cuts, or what about a seafood medley boasting the most wonderful flavors of the sea, lake or river? Seafood can be served as part of a salad or savory dish, or it can be served as an appetizer or snack. Bacon-wrapped scallops, anyone? You will find a comprehensive collection of wonderful seafood recipes right here, for your inspiration and enjoyment.

Thanks for visiting,