Pacific Northwest: Taste

Frozen Raspberry Mignonette Sauce
Makes about 1 cup, enough for 2 dozen oysters
1/3 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup cold water
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1. In a blender, purée the raspberries with the vinegar and water. Pass the purée through a strainer into a small bowl. Press down on the solids to get as much of the good stuff as you can, then discard the seeds. Stir the chopped shallot and the black pepper into the purée and put the bowl in the freezer.

2. After an hour, stir the sauce and break up any ice crystals. Put it back into the freezer until it's pretty well frozen. If the mixture has already frozen solid, break it up with a fork and stir it into a kind of slush. Serve the frozen sauce with well-chilled, just-shucked oysters on the half shell.

Oysters with Muscat Sabayon
Serves 4
1 dozen oysters
1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
Muscat Sabayon (recipe follows)
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Put the oysters and the water in a pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook over high heat for 10 minutes, or until most of the oysters have popped open. While the oysters are steaming, cut the spinach. Stack the spinach leaves, roll the stack into a tight bundle and cut across the bundle to make even ribbons. After the oysters are cooked, remove them from their shells and put a pinch of shredded spinach into each shell. (Save some of the shredded spinach to decorate the plate.)

2. Place each oyster back in its shell on top of the spinach and top with a generous tablespoon of sabayon. Bake for 5 minutes, or until the sabayon is just beginning to brown. Spread the reserved spinach on the serving plate and place the baked oysters on top of the spinach. Grind pepper over the oysters and serve at once.

Muscat Sabayon
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sweet Muscat wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
A generous grind of black pepper

In a heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, beat the egg yolks, wine, salt and pepper with a wire whisk for 2 minutes, or until light, fluffy and just beginning to set. Continue beating vigorously as long as the mixture is in the pan or the egg yolks will scramble. As soon as the sabayon has thickened into a stable foam, transfer it to a bowl and set aside. Sabayon may be used at once or refrigerated and used up to four hours later.

Copyright © 2001 The Seattle Times Company

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