Monday, January 3, 2011

You Say Oyster and I say Erster - Conchigli y Crema Ostrica

It's the middle of Winter.   OK, not exactly "the middle" but with the 24 degree temperature and 30 mile an hour winds creating a wind chill of 8 degrees, it sure as heck FEELS like the middle of winter.

Some strange part of my brain always makes me hungry for things that are out of season.  Thus it is that I am completely obsessed with all things of the Oyster persuasion.  And while I also realize that oysters are in season with now, the "fresh" Oysters out there, like the ones at "Whole Paycheck", are expensive.  Consequently, I have deemed it necessary to break into my "emergency stores" and go with the canned variety for this particular dish... at least this time.

I have to admit that I actually kind of like the canned oysters.  I got use to having to use them while living in San Diego for 14 years.  Simply because I could never find any fresh oysters that didn't smell kind of funky, and I am really picky about my shellfish.  If it's questionable in ANY way... Forget about it.

The trick with canned oysters is making sure you do not cook them again.  The canned oysters simply need to be warmed, or they will turn into little super balls bouncing around your kitchen.  Not tasty.

Conchigli y Crema Ostrica

(Shells in Oyster Cream)

16 oz Medium Shells, Elbow Macaroni or other medium pasta shape
1 TB olive oil
1 Garlic clove, chopped
1 Shallot, minced
2 8-oz (227g) cans Oysters, juice reserved (or, 18-24 fresh petite "olympia" oysters, shucked with liquor reserved)
3 oz Pinot Grigio or other white wine
optional - Clam juice – Enough mixed with oyster liquor to make 6 oz (You only need this if using fresh oysters)
4 oz Heavy Cream
10 oz fresh Arugula, washed, hard stems removed
Kosher Salt
White pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Open the Oyster cans and reserve 6 ounces of the juice.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a Sauté pan.

When the oil is hot, sweat the shallots and garlic being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add wine and bring just to a boil.

Add Oysters, Oyster juice and heavy cream,

bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. (Just enough to warm the oysters through)

Then season with Kosher Salt and White Pepper.

Place the Arugula in a large pasta bowl.

When pasta is done, remove about 1/4 cup of the water and set it aside....

Then drain the pasta and pour it into the bowl over the Arugula, let set for a couple minutes, then toss briefly.

Pour the Oyster Cream sauce over the Pasta and Arugula.

Toss until the heat from the Oyster sauce and the pasta wilts the Arugula slightly.

If the Oyster cream sauce seems a little thick, add the reserved pasta water and toss again.

Serve immediately.


1 comment:

Christopher said...

I have you reserved for Friday to make this delicious dish. Although, I don't know what my wife will eat, since she don't like ersters.