Friends, a few things to note about the above video attempt:
1. I swear again. I’m sorry. I am letting down my in-laws and Grandma. Going forward, I will work on this... I swear. (Pun!)
2. It was very hard to spend a morning of shucking oysters without periodically muttering “oyster smiling” as a non sequitur. If you don’t know the reference, do yourself a favor and watch this Paul Rudd / Tim and Eric video.
3. At last, Matthew makes not one, but TWO cameos! How about that?
Oysters with Shallot Vinegar adapted from John Pawson and Annie Bell's Living and Eating
a scant tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon chopped chives
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
6-12 oysters per person
tools: oyster knife, some manner of work glove, dish towel
Mix shallots, chives, and cider in a small bowl. Set aside.
Here's the thing. I don't know how people shucked oysters for the first time before videos. I mean, I read Pawson and Bell's rather in-depth instructions to a T and feel as though I acquired more knowledge by watching this video. However, that guy in the video is an oyster-shucking champion and made it look way too easy. So, for those of you who have never shucked before, I really hope my video helps. I hope you can see that the real trick is in placing the oyster knife in the hinge area and, with pressure, twisting it up and down... up and down. At first, I was so worried about stabbing myself, but by the end, I realized I was placing too much emphasis on steady pressure and not enough on that leverage-gaining, twisting motion. As soon as the focus was on the twisting motion, I didn't think about gouging my palm as much. Once you're in there, make sure to scrape the top shell with the knife in order to free the oyster from where it has attached itself. And remember: the first one is the hardest. Once you get past that, you will be golden!
Also, once opened, the oyster should look opaque and wet, as if enjoying the soak in its own liquid. It should smell like the sea. I know that I was very afraid of a "bad oyster," but all of mine were great, which is another reason I went with Fanny Bay oysters (as I read online somewhere that you never find a bad Fanny Bay). Lastly, if this is your first time shucking, you are bound to get some shell fragments in the oyster. Just clear the ones you can see and try not to stress too much about the ones you find in your mouth later. At least, that's what I did.
Serve with the shallot vinegar and a glass of champagne, and enjoy!