In my mind, there are two types of great cooking. The first is when creative chefs use innovative new ingredients and spices to put an interesting spin on an old staple. The second is when they prepare something very simple and completely nail it just to show you why it’s a staple.
Well, the local fried oysters at the Seahorse Tavern have their little oyster feet in both worlds. Though the rest of our meal was also solid and very well-prepared, we simply could not stop talking about these oysters all the way home.
First of all, let’s talk simple stuff. The Long Island Blue Point oysters are shucked-to-order, meaning you’ll taste how deliciously fresh they are from beginning to end. Secondly, they’re lightly battered in wondra flour, so their golden-brown shell is extra thin, crisp, and just all-around perfect. Lastly, they’re served with an aioli-based remoulade that adds nice classic flavours of garlic, lemon juice and parsley every other bite or so.
With plenty of attention paid to those important (and often overlooked) details, these fried oysters would be wonderful without anything else. BUT, luckily for us, the oyster goodness doesn’t stop there. Oh no. Rather, the bright and fresh saltiness of the oysters is complemented by both the spice of a small bit of cayenne pepper and the robust roundness of a few black and white sesame seeds scattered throughout the delicate wondra batter. And take a note from the Seahorse Tavern- get those pickle chunks OUT of your classic remoulade and replace them with diced tarragon. The sweet taste you love will still be there, but in a fresher and more pleasing way.
The end result of this classic/nouveau combination is super fresh fried oysters that crunch wonderfully with just a hint of spice and rounded sesame flavour, and that when dipped in remoulade offer up a complex, but balanced arrangement of great bold flavours.
Also, they’re served on a bed of decorative sea salt that is very pretty.
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