Saturday, January 24, 2009

Aphrodisiacs: Oysters 3 Ways

The word "aphrodisiac" was born when Aphrodite emerged from the sea on an oyster shell. Because the goddess of love was said to be born from the sea, many types of seafood have reputations as aphrodisiacs.

Some people believe in a "law of similarity," that is, food resembling genitalia may possess sexual powers. Others state that the mere belief that oysters enhance sexual desire and performace creates a psychosomatic response and their bodies respond to the belief-due to the mind, not the oysters.

However, oysters gained their reputation at a time many people were zinc deficient-which affects sexual desire and pleasure. Oysters contain just about the most zinc of any food. Thus, the addition of oysters to a zinc-deficient diet, would definitely lead to an increased sex drive.

True or not, the belief of oysters' awesome powers continues. In honor of Aphrodite, and oysters :) I have included 3 oysters recipes in this post. The first is from MarthaStewartLiving.

Chanterelle and Parmesan Oysters:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
6 ounces chanterelle mushrooms, rinsed, drained, patted dry, and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons creme fraiche
Freshly ground black pepper
1 dozen extra-small (2 to 3 inches long) Pacific oysters, shucked and drained, bottom shells reserved
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat broiler. In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in chanterelles and lemon juice and cook, until the chanterelles release their liquid, about 1 minute. Stir in parsley and creme fraiche. Season with pepper.

Scrub reserved oyster shells and dry.

Place an oyster in each shell and spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the chanterelle mixture onto each oyster. Sprinkle with cheese.

Place oysters in a heatproof dish and broil about 6 inches from heat source until bubbly, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately

Artichoke and Oyster Soup

1 stick of butter
4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/2 medium onion, minced
1/4 small green pepper, minced
1 1/4 rib celery celery, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14 oz cans artichoke hearts, chopped
12 oysters, rinsed well, removed from shells (careful to remove any shell fragments!)
8 ounces baby bellas, chopped
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of dry white wine.
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until golden. Add the onions, green pepper, celery and garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes.

the milk, whisking constantly to keep the mixture smooth.

Add the mushrooms and
oysters and cook until oysters are wilted and edges curled. Remove the oysters and chop them into small pieces.

Add the quartered artichoke hearts and oysters to the soup and enough of the chicken broth to make soup consistent.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, add Parmesan cheese and dry white wine and let the soup simmer a few minutes longer.

Oysters on the Half Shell

12 oysters on the half shell
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
Piri-piri sauce
A mignonette of your choice

Pick up one of the oysters by the shell. Squeeze lemon over oyster, or spoon a little sauce over oyster.

Use a small fork, like a cocktail fork, detach the oyster from its shell.

When you are sure the oyster is no longer attached to the shell, put the edge of the shell against your bottom lip.

Slurp the oyster into your mouth.



  1. Sorry I am no longer here, me and my wife have taken a break to the bedroom. Just joking of course...the recipes sound delicious, and I love shellfish, well done thx for sharing

  2. Funny Ricardo...but I love this...


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