Taste the nouvelle Northwest in Braiden Rex-Johnson's latest cookbook, Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining. Recipes include Cervelle de Canut (Herbed Goat Cheese with Walnut Crostini); Baked Oysters with Orange-Thyme Beurre Blanc and Citrus Zest; and Blue Cheesecake.
Makes 32 appetizers
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc
Line a rimmed baking sheet with rock salt. Shuck the oysters, reserving as much of the liquid as possible, discarding the top oyster shells. Arrange the shucked oysters cup side down (oyster side up) without crowding over the rock salt.
Place the orange juice in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally to be sure it doesn't boil over during the beginning minutes, until it reaches the consistency of maple syrup and about 3/4 cup remains, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the orange juice is reducing, toss the lemon, lime, and orange zests in a small amount of flour. Place in a fine-meshed sieve and shake off any excess flour. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to bubble around the edges, add the floured zest. Cook until crisp and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain on paper towels and reserve.
After the orange juice has reduced, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter piece by piece, incorporating well after each addition. Whisk in the thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm.
Ten minutes before cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the oysters in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they plump and become firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and top with a small amount of the arugula, the sauce, and the fried zest and serve immediately.
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