Casual Saturday: Shrimp with Orange Tarragon Hollandaise and Shucked Oysters

Shrimp with Orange Tarragon Hollandaise and Shucked Oysters (on Toast)

Oysters are highly evocative food.
Some folks love them, some folks hate them, and some tout them as an aphrodisiac.
Whatever one's preference may be, they are certainly easy to cook!

Shrimp fall in the same category skill-wise, and do beautifully with all the citrus available in the dead of winter!

This recipe is a combination of favorites. I just wanted to chill out and spoil myself a bit before getting back into the grind after the holiday breaks. 

Tarragon transforms seafood into royalty, much like the fairy godmother of seafood cuisine. Orange is a refreshing change from the ubiquitous and exhausted lemon usually paired with fruits de mer platters.
If anyone knows me, they know I have a thing for hollandaise sauce. It just is what it is and I don't make excuses or explanations. So this dish makes me happy. I hope it is enjoyable for everyone else also!

This recipe serves 2 but can easily be doubled.

Heat 2 quarts water to simmer in a double boiler bottom pan. Use this for heating the sauce.

Steam 2 dozen freshly scrubbed and soaked oysters in the shell for 8-10 minutes, with 2-3 large sprigs of tarragon. Check them early. They will open slightly when done. Do not overcook, or they will be tough and leathery, which is unacceptable and worthy of public flogging (but easy to do – so watch it)!
(I used a rice cooker/steamer for this, so cooking times may vary for stock pots or other methods.)

While they are steaming is a good time to whip up the hollandaise sauce quickly.

Over the simmering water place a medium stainless steel bowl with:
2 egg yolks
1 oz orange juice
1 oz white wine vinegar

Whip this mixture over the double boiler until frothy but do not overcook, only 1-1 ½ minutes tops.
Take the bowl off the heat or it will cook the yolks. Remove the double boiler from heat also.

Slowly and steadily drizzle into the yolks…
6 oz clarified butter heated with 2TB Tarragon (chopped)
… while whipping furiously to emulsify the mixture into a creamy sauce. Do not add too much butter at once or the sauce will break. Nearing the end it is okay to add more butter quickly.

Season with Salt and White Pepper (and/or cayenne) to taste and hold warm over the steaming (but no longer cooking) pot.

Begin a sauté with 2 oz sliced onion and 4 oz sliced bell peppers over medium heat in ½ oz butter or oil.
Add ½ oz minced garlic.
Once the aromas are released, add ½ lb peeled and deveined shrimp.
Sauté the shrimp until it is pink and no longer translucent, approximately 6-8 minutes.

Plate the sauté on toast (crust off).
Add another ½-1 oz of orange juice to sauce if needed for flavor or consistency, and give it a final whip and taste before plating.

Pour the sauce over the shrimp and toast, add shucked oysters if desired.

(Optional: drizzle Sriracha picante/Chili Garlic Sauce for color and flavor boost)
Garnish with orange slices or fresh tarragon. 

The sauté is fine over rice pilaf instead of toast for a more formal affair.
Wines to try with this: Moschofilero (lovely dry Greek white wine with spritely citrus and floral notes), or a robust Sancerre.

Happy Eating!
from Deelish!


The Gourmez said…
I'm sure it's amazing. I also have a thing for hollandaise!
Thanks Becca! Hollandaise is one of those things that just makes life even more "liveable".:)

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