Rather than a pukeko in a ponga tree, how about some lovely Mahurangi oysters?
The original twelve days of Christmas had nothing to do with chocolate advent calendars at all. They were actually a series of religious feast days celebrated as part of the Roman Catholic religion in medieval and Tudor England.
Starting on Christmas Day, there were 12 days of celebrations, feasting and entertainment that lasted all the way up to 5th of January.
So, in the spirit of Christmas and good times, we’ve put together a list of 12 delicious, wonderful and interesting ways for you to enjoy oysters for Christmas. Don’t worry though. No one will be expecting you to hold out and only eat one dish a day.
Oysters for Christmas
- In Aotearoa, we may traditionally see Christmas as the season to eat turkey, ham, pavlova, strawberries, trifle, and onion dip, but in France, oysters are associated with Christmas. In fact, well at least according to some statistics, up to 50% of France’s annual consumption of oysters happens between Christmas Eve and New Year’s. So, why not try say “oui, oui” and dig into oysters with mignonette dressing?
- In America, there is a tradition of oyster stew for Christmas Eve. This is thought to owe its origins to the Irish settlers of the 1800s who, being Catholic, would abstain from eating meat on Christmas Eve. Fancy an oyster stew. Might even go down well with Guinness, who knows?
- In my very humble opinion, it is still very hard to beat a plate of fresh plump oysters, enjoyed straight off the shell with a glass of crisp white wine. If you want to fancy them up a bit though, try these oyster topping recipes.
- Al Brown appears to agree with me about oysters in their natural state: ”I do love them … with just a grind of fresh black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice; however, they are often served with various vinegars that work equally well. The only hassle when serving oysters on ice with a vinegar is that, more often than not, the oyster slips off the toothpick and into the vinegar. So, this recipe is a way of eliminating those occasions and with colourful specks of the other ingredients through the clear jelly, the presentation is pretty cool”. Check out his recipe for Oysters with chardonnay vinegar and chilli jelly.
- Much like the pavlova, the Australians claim this recipe as theirs. As it is Christmas, we won’t get into the whole debate. However, Oysters Kilpatrick is one of the most popular oyster recipes in Australia. So, I’m fairly sure it is much enjoyed over the festive season.
- Another international favourite recipe is for Oysters Rockefeller. This is a classic recipe that is pretty hard to beat.
- If you like your oysters cooked, why not try some hot baked oysters with herbs?
- We also have some suggestions for serving poached oysters. Poaching allows oysters to cook gently. It preserves their moisture and helps retain the delicate flavour, resulting in tender, succulent morsels.
- Our oyster fitters are also a bit of a hit. They have a lovely briny flavour and creamy texture making them the perfect addition to a nibbles platter.
- Got a bit of champagne floating about. We have a rather decadent recipe for oysters in a champagne sauce made using bubbles, or wine, and oyster liquor. Just scroll down the page a little.
- Speaking of Christmas tipples, some of the most popular recipes on our site are for gin and oysters. This does make for a damn fine combination.
- And because it is Christmas time, we’ve also included a recipe for an oyster shooter. You can think of a shooter as being a cross between a cocktail and an entree, but we’ll let you be the judge.
So, this Christmas why not include oysters in your festive feast? Try one of our delicious tasty, sustainable and fabulous recipes and let us know what you think.
The oyster of choice
Thanks to our careful husbandry and intelligent market selection, our plump Pacific oysters have become the oyster of choice in the Auckland restaurant scene and are exported in large numbers to Pacific Rim countries.