Cold oysters are great on their own, but they are even better with hot little sausages on the side. Take a bite of a hot, peppery beef chipolata, then slurp down a cold, salty, tangy oyster. Repeat until nothing is left.
Scrub the oysters well. Wrap a good thick tea towel around your left hand and hold an oyster firmly in your palm, the flat side facing upwards, the thin, pointy end towards you. Push the point of the knife firmly through the hinge, feeling your way, twisting the blade slightly and increasing the pressure until you feel it give way.
Wipe the blade free of any grit, and run it neatly under the top shell. Lift off the top shell, but keep the oyster steady so you don’t lose its natural juices. Loosen the oyster from its shell and set the shell down on a bed of watercress or parsley. Repeat to open the rest of the oysters.
Lightly oil a non-stick fry pan. Prick the sausages well and pan-fry them gently, turning once or twice. When they are sizzling hot and cooked through, drain them on paper towel and arrange next to the oysters. Add the lime or lemon quarters and serve, with flutes of Champagne or tankards of beer.
© 2002 Jill Dupleix. All rights reserved.