Oysters à la Somerset
1 pint / about a dozen selected oysters
1/3 cup (about 75ml) oyster liquor
1 tablespoon of chopped onion
1/3 cup (about 75ml) chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped mushrooms
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons of butter
A little cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons of flour
A generous handful of breadcrumbs
Parboil and drain the oysters. Reserve the liquor, strain and set aside for the sauce.
Cook the onion and mushroom in the butter for five minutes then add the flour.
Gradually pour on the oyster liquor and chicken stock. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.
Remove the tough muscles from the oysters and discard (unless you’re using Porlock Bay oysters, as there’s no part of these delicious specimens that is too tough!).
Shape the oysters, cover with sauce and allow to cool on a plate. Persuade them to stay upright by placing them on a bed of breadcrumbs.
Dip in egg and breadcrumbs, then fry in deep fat and drain on brown paper.
As you can see from the illustration, we served five or so oysters with a garnish of pak choi as a scrumptious starter.