Oysters Rouillard – A Delicious Oyster Appetizer Idea

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Whether you’re hosting a party in the near future, are attending a party, or just want to try out something new, Oysters Rouillard will be right up your alley. This is an obscure recipe of French-Canadian origin passed down through a gradually thinning bloodline. As there were no restaurateurs among the bunch, this has been more or less a family secret – until now. Read on and learn how to make a delicious oyster appetizer that will soon be among your regular culinary rotation.

If you want to make Oysters Rouillard, the most important ingredient, as the name would imply, would be the oysters. However, not just any old oyster will do. To make this dish truly authentic, you need to go with Malpeque oysters. These oysters are not only delicious, but are quite a good for you as well. they are high in iron, protein and potassium. They also provide a little boost of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and calcium. These oysters are native to the coast of Prince Edward Island but can also be found in the maritime areas of Quebec, where they are a hit among the French Canadian population as well as the native Metis and Micmac. Their popularity has spread in recent years and they are now being enjoyed nearly worldwide.

Now that we’ve given you a little bit of the backstory on this recipe, it’s time to get to the actual instruction on how to make it. You’re going to need the following items:

  • A 6 inch long piece of French bread
  • 6-8 Malpeque oysters
  • 1/2 chopped tomato (Red Tops are best, but not exclusive)
  • 1/4 chopped purple onion
  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 8 finely chopped scallion stalks
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon of ground basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of ground Cajun-style or Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of table salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper
Oysters Rouillard Ingredients

Oysters Rouillard Ingredients

This is a recipe that has a few different components that will need to be prepared separately. The main groups are separated into the French bread (we’ll explain what to do with that in a bit), vegetable and spice tapenade, and the oysters. When it comes to the oysters, you can either serve them raw (if cleaned well and properly prepared) or boil/steam them. If you’re going to take the latter route, as was done with this particular recipe, you’ll want to begin by boiling your oysters so that they open up and you can easily extract the meat inside.

Malpeque oysters getting ready for boiling

Malpeque oysters getting ready for boiling

As you’re waiting for your oysters to come to a boil, you can get started on the tapenade. You’ll need to chop up the purple onion, tomato, scallions, and garlic cloves into small square-like segments. For the sake of a visual reference, here’s what you should go for as far as the chopping is concerned:

Chopped vegetables for the tapenade

Chopped vegetables for the tapenade

Once you have your vegetables chopped up, put them into a mixing bowl and stir them together. After this, add in a tablespoon of ground basil leaves, a tablespoon of either Cajun style or Cayenne pepper, 1/2 tablespoon of table salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. The only missing ingredient from the tapenade at this point is the melted butter. Simply cut up a half stick of butter into small pieces and then place it into a microwave-safe container for melting. When it’s ready, get a potholder handy and pick the container of melted butter up. Pour it into the mixing bowl with the rest of the tapenade and stir well until all ingredients are blended.

A well-blended tapenade with all ingredients included

A well-blended tapenade with all ingredients included

By the time you’ve managed to do this, your oysters will have come to a boil and will be open. In fact, this may happen even before you can finish making the tapenade, so be sure to check on the oysters regularly. Extract them from the pot and then put all of the shells on a plate where you can easily pluck out the meat. At this point, you’re finally ready to prepare the French bread.

If only serving one or two people, six inches of French bread will do. Slice the portion of bread in half (widthwise) and you’ll have two equally sized slices, not unlike what you’d get if you were planning to make a sandwich. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While waiting for your oven to preheat, you can place the two slices of bread on a baking sheet. Measure out one tablespoon of olive oil and then pour it equally over both slices. When your oven is at the desired temperature, you may place the bread inside, but make sure you have it out again within 2 minutes at the very most. The goal here is to just barely toast the bread.

 

French bread with olive oil, pre-toasting

French bread with olive oil, pre-toasting

Now we’re getting near the home stretch. When your bread has toasted to a very minor degree, remove it from the oven. Then remove the oyster meat from the shells and place them along one of the slices of bread in a horizontal row. After this, cover the oysters in the tapenade. Once you get to this point, you have a few choices. If you’ve made more oysters than the amount mentioned in the ingredients section, you can line them up on the other slice of bread and cover them in the tapenade. Alternately, you can use the other slice of bread as a top to create a sandwich. The third option (and it’s the one you’ll see soon) is to simply top the other slice of bread with the tapenade for a bruschetta effect. This will come in handy if you happen to be eating with somebody who doesn’t like seafood.

When you’ve made your choice as to how you want to employ your second slice of bread, it’s time to make your move and do it. After this, remove the slices from the baking tray and place on a dinner plate. If desired, you can cut the slices up into 2 inch portions. Below is what a serving of Oysters Rouillard for 1-2 people should look like upon completion.

 

Complete Oysters Rouillard, with one slice of bread served sans oysters

Complete Oysters Rouillard, with one slice of bread served sans oysters

We hope we’ve managed to pique your interest with this post and hopefully have made a positive step in bringing this delicious oyster recipe some more notoriety. It’s sure to be a hit with all of your friends and family and if nobody’s around, feel free to whip up a batch and eat it yourself as a full meal rather than just an appetizer. As you can tell, it’s a pretty flexible dish.

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