Butter Poached Oysters with Zucchini, Leeks and Caviar

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Courtesy Evan Treadwell, Chef / Lido Restaurant

  • 1/2 cup diced leeks, white part only
  • 20 fresh oysters in the shell
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup fish fumet
  • 1/2 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1/2 cup oyster Liquor, reserved from oysters
  • 1 tablespoon Cognac
  • 2 small shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup zucchini brunoise
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Blanch leeks in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain leeks, reserving 1/4 cup water.  In a sautépan combine leeks and water and cook, covered, over very low heat until very tender, all the juices should have evaporated.  Do not salt, the oyster's juices will provide this.  Cool and reserve until needed.

While leeks are simmering, shuck oysters, reserving juices.  Rinse oysters in wine and clam juice mixture.  Reserve oysters.

In a small stainless steel or non-reactive saucepan combine the wine, fumet, clam juice, oyster juice, Cognac, shallot, thyme and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until one-third original volume.  Stir in cream return to a boil and whisk in butter until emulsified, lightly coating the back of a spoon.  Strain through a fine strainer pushing well on aromatics to extract all liquids.  Keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve oysters

Combine sauce, leeks and zucchini in a saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Add oysters and swirl until just poached, about 45 seconds.  Spoon into individual oyster shells and garnish with caviar and chervil.  Serve immediately.

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