Seafood is often considered to be fragile. Fresh and lovely for a day or so, then rather not too alluring. What if you could make our oysters last for month? You can and it’s simple: pickle them. You get your seafood flavor plus the tang of the pickling liquids. From Brooklyn Bar Bites [see my review here], this recipe will give you a large batch of appetizer bites to please a crowd. Or, you can make them all for yourself and just nibble for days. Like, up to 30 days!
Yield: about 1 quart
For the pickling spices:
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces
- 1 whole clove
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
For the oysters:
- 30 large, meaty East Coast oysters, such as Blue Points, shucked
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 white onion, thinly sliced
To make the pickling spice: Put the peppercorns, coriander, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick in a small bowl and stir together. Transfer to a large saucepan and add the brown sugar, salt, vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the salt and sugar dissolve. Set aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the oysters and cook for 1 minute; drain.
Layer the oysters, lemon, and onion in a large clean jar with a lid. Pour the pickling liquid over them. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.
The oysters will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a month.
And, when you serve them, do it with the elegance shown in this lovely photo by Jennifer May.
Source: Brooklyn Bar Bites by Barbara Scott-Goodman [Rizzoli, 2016]