The following gluten free fried oysters recipe is from The Foreign Cinema Cookbook, by Gayle Pirie and John Clark, published by ©2018 Abrams. While not all recipes in the book are GF, many of them are, and all of them are spectacular.
Fried Oysters with Pickled Shallots and Smoked Bacon Gluten-Free Recipe
- 2 cups (360 g) fine cornmeal
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 20 twists freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) Cayenne Mayonnaise (below)
- 2 bunches watercress large stems removed
- 3 tablespoons Red Wine Sherry Vinaigrette (below)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil, grapeseed oil, or safflower oil
- 16 plump medium shucked oysters
- 1/4 cup (35 g) Pickled Shallots (at right), for serving
- 2 strips bacon cooked until crisp and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (optional), for serving
In a medium bowl, stir together the cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Set aside for dredging.
Set a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels near the stove.
Use the back of a spoon to spread the mayonnaise over the surface of a large serving platter.
In a medium bowl, toss the watercress with the vinaigrette to evenly coat it.
Arrange the dressed greens in mounds on the platter.
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. While the oil gets hot, dredge half of the oysters in the cornmeal mixture to coat well. Shake off any excess coating, then transfer the oysters into the oil by hand and cook, undisturbed, until they are golden and crisp, about 2 minutes.
Turn the oysters over with tongs to cook the other side, about 1-1/2 minutes longer, handling them gingerly to avoid disrupting their fragile coating. Transfer the fried oysters to the lined plate. Fry the remaining oysters in the same way, adding them to the lined plate as they are done.
To serve, arrange the fried oysters on top of the watercress and sprinkle the pickled shallots and the bacon pieces, if using, over the top.
- 1 cup (240 ml) olive oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Put the oil in a glass measuring cup or pitcher that you can easily handle with one hand while whisking with the other.
Put the egg yolk in a medium nonreactive bowl. While continuously whisking, add the oil drop by drop, incorporating each drop before adding the next. As the mixture thickens and emulsifies, begin adding the remaining oil in a slow, steady stream, continuing to whisk vigorously, until you have added all of the oil. The mixture should be thick and glossy. Whisk in the vinegar, Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, and salt until fully incorporated.
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Briefly whisk smooth before using.
Red Wine Sherry Vinaigrette
- 1 small clove garlic crushed
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
In a small bowl, combine the garlic, vinegars, honey, salt, and pepper and allow to macerate for 10 minutes. Whisk in the oil. Set aside until ready to use. Whisk the vinaigrette again right before adding to the salad.
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) distilled white vinegar
- 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf crushed
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries crushed (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1-1/2 cups (175 g) sliced shallots (1/8-inch-/3-mm-thick slices)
- To make the pickling brine combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, bay
To make the pickling brine, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, juniper berries (if using), and red pepper flakes in a small nonreactive saucepan. Stir in 3/4 cup (180 ml) water. Bring the brine to a full boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Add the shallots to the simmering brine and cook until they soften slightly but retain some crunch, 2 to 3 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shallots to a bowl. Let the shallots and brine cool completely. Once cooled, pour the brine over the shallots into an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 10 days.
Photography Ed Anderson