These wonderfully curvaceous oyster shells tend to topple over maddeningly on the plate allowing the delicious juices to escape. In the restaurant we solve this problem by piping a little blob of Duchesse potato on the plate to anchor each shell.
Open the oysters and detach completely from their shells. You will need an oyster knife for this operation. Place the oyster on the worktop, deep shell down. Cover your hand with a folded tea-towel and hold the oyster firmly. Put the tip of the oyster knife into the crevice at the hinge of the oyster, push hard and then quickly twist the knife. You need to exert quite a bit of pressure, hence it is essential that the hand holding the oyster is protected, in case the knife slips. When you feel the oyster is opening, change the angle of the knife and, keeping the blade close to the shell, slice the oyster off the top shell in one movement. Then run the knife underneath the oyster in the deep shell and flip it over: be careful not to lose any of the delicious juices.
Discard the top shell but keep the deep shell and reserve the liquid. Put the shells into a low oven to heat through. Melt half the butter in a pan until it foams. Toss the oysters in the butter until hot through – 1 minute perhaps.
Put a hot oyster into each of the warm shells. Pour the reserved oyster liquid into the pan and boil up, whisking in the remaining butter and the parsley. Spoon the hot juices over the oysters and serve immediately on hot plates with a wedge of lemon.
Alternatively discard the shells and just serve the oysters on the hot buttered toast. The toast will soak up the juice – Simply Delicious!
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.