Reuel's Margarita Mix
I have spent way too much time perfecting this cocktail not to share it with Bill and company.
- 1 jigger good (100% blue agave) silver tequila (Don Julio, El Tesoro, Chinaco, Milagro...)
- 1 jigger triple sec (Cointreau, Gran Marnier or Patron)
- juice from 1/2 (fresh) lime (use a whole lime when in Mexico, their limes are smaller than ours.)
- kosher salt
- extra (fresh) lime juice for moistening the lip o' the glass
- ice bucket
- martini glass(es)
- knife 2 small plates
- chill the martini glass (either in your freezer or fill w/ ice & water.)
- put an even layer of salt on one plate and the extra lime juice on the other plate
- put tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ~5 ice cubes and seal the shaker
- shake vigorously for ~15 seconds
- dip the lip of an inverted martini glass into reserved lime juice and then into salt
- pour the margarita into the glass
- drink & repeat as required
Notes, variations and caveats:
- Try dipping the glass lip into a mixture of salt, habanero pepper & key lime juice (affectionately known as Floyd's Famous HotLime Sauce, www.hotlime.com) before dipping into salt, this adds a distinctive spice note and takes this drink to a whole new level!
- Drink more or less immediately, this drink does not have a long shelf life and does not improve if it warms up.
- Make drinks for your friends and lover(s) first, if you make yours first you will mess up theirs.
- Use good ingredients, skip the Cuervo and NEVER use "sour" mix!
- Do not drive after consuming this cocktail! Enjoy!!!
Malcolm Hébert, cookbook author, former food and wine editor of the San Jose Mercury News , and a gentleman of fine Louisiana stock, has this to say about this classic New Orleans dish:
This is one of the most sought-after recipes in the world. Even the ex-employees of this restaurant won't talk about how Antoine's Oysters Rockefeller are made. The closet recipe to the original was developed by Roy Alciatore, one of Antoine's previous owners, for Life magazine's The Picture Cookbook , published more than 30 years ago. While this recipe has spinach in it, I was told by Bernard Guste of Antoine's that the original recipe does not have spinach in it. Roy Guste Jr., current fifth-generation proprietor of Antoine's, will still not give out the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe as it's still prepared at Antoine's, and it is not included in the Antoine's Cookbook . Hey, I heard the secret was green onions, not spinach ... let's give that a try with what's the best recipe I've yet come across (which makes a lot of sense), and then we'll reproduce the one to which Malcolm referred above. I bet ya like da foist one mo' betta.
This recipe purports to be a close version of one that supposedly came directly from Jules Alciatore, Roy's father. (It looks way, way better than the one that Roy supplied to Life .) Rather than using bunches of spinach, that so many of the recipes we've seen floating around, it has lots of herbs plus celery leaves, which is true to the rumor that Jules created the dish out of what happened to be lying around the kitchen, including scraps. It seems to me that the secret of this dish is the herbs -- tarragon, of course, and chervil. Use the freshest herbs you can find, and by no means ever used dried herbs for this dish.
Mince together the parsley, green onions, celery leaves, tarragon and chervil as finely as you possibly can. Take as much time as you need. Mince them more finely than anything you've ever minced in your life. Mix this together with the bread crumbs and the softened butter into a mortar and mix the whole thing together into a smooth paste, but do leave a little texture to it. (You can do this in a blender or food processor, but you'll leave a lot of it behind, stuck to the inside, and it'll be just easier to do it by hand in a mortar; you'll have an easier time getting it all out, and you'll have the satisfaction of serving something truly hand-made.) Season to taste with salt and pepper, Tabasco or Crystal and, if you like, the Herbsaint.
- Two dozen fresh oysters on the half shell, oyster liquor reserved
- 4 springs flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 4 green onions (including the green part)
- A handful of fresh celery leaves
- At least 6 fresh tarragon leaves
- At least 6 fresh chervil leaves
- 1/2 cup dried fresh French bread crumbs (homemade, not out of a can)
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (hey, it's supposed to be "rich enough for Rockefeller"!)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Tabasco or Crystal hot sauce, to taste
- 2 tablespoons Herbsaint or Pernod (optional)
- Rock salt or kosher salt
Preheat your broiler. Lower the top rack to the middle of the oven. Spread the rock salt (preferable) or kosher salt over a large baking sheet; this will keep the oysters level under the broiler, so that they won't tip over. Moisten the salt very slightly. Plant the shells in the salt, making sure they're level. Place one oyster in each shell, plus a little bit of oyster liquor. Spoon an equal amount of the prepared herb/butter mixture over each oyster.
Place the baking sheet on the middle rack and broil until the edges of the oysters have curled and the herb butter is bubbling, about five minutes. Watch carefully to make sure you don't overdo it. Serve immediately.
YIELD: Six servings of four oysters each (regular people-sized serving), or four servings of six oysters each (New Orleanian-sized serving)
Roy Alciatore's Oysters Rockefeller
Recipe 2 (as published in Life magazine's cookbook)
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients except the oysters. Cook, constantly stirring for 15 minutes. Press the mixture through a sieve or a food mill. Cool. Line six pie tins with rock salt. Set 6 oysters in the rock salt on each pie tin. Divide the topping into 36 equal portions. Place one portion on each oyster. Broil until topping is brown. Serves 6.
- 36 fresh oysters on the half shell
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons finely minced raw spinach
- 3 tablespoons minced onion
- 3 tablespoons minced parsley
- 5 tablespoons bread crumbs
- Tabasco sauce to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbsaint, or substitute Pernod
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
(Many thanks to Christopher Hébert for providing the recipe and his father's articles.
Angels on Horse back by the Water.
A crisp appetizer made of oysters and waterchestnuts wrapped in bacon. Wash these down with plenty of cold beer or iced cider.
- 24 small oysters, shucked
- 1 5-ounce can whole waterchestnuts
- 1 pound bacon, cut into half lengths
In a saucepan, lightly poach oysters in their own liquor. Drain. In a frying pan, cook bacon just until limp. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap each oyster and waterchestnut separately with a bacon slice. Secure with a toothpick. Broil on rack in oven or grill over charcoal for about 5-10 minutes, until bacon is lightly crisp. Watch carefully and turn occasionally. Drain on paper towels if necessary. Serve hot. Serves 8
Creamy and succulent.
- 24 medium oysters, in the half shell
- 1-1/2 ounces Roquefort cheese, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 6 green onions, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
Combine cheese, butter, green onion, garlic and blend well. Set aside. Parboil oysters in a a small amount of oysters for about 3 minutes, or until plump. Drain and return oysters to the half shell. Set shells on a baking sheet spread with a layer of rock salt to balance shells. Top oysters with cheese mixture, then with tomatoes and parsley.
Broil in the oven for about 8 minutes or until Roquefort mixture is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6
Oyster Stew Nippon
A bowl of this exquisite soup and steamed rice make a simple evening meal. Instead of the classic chicken soup when you have a winter cold, nurse yourself with this nourishing stew.
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger root
- 1 pint shucked oysters
- 2 cups chopped Chinese cabbage
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 6 ounces Chinese pea pods
- 4 green onions, cut into 1" pieces with tops
In a large saucepan, heat chicken broth, soy sauce, and ginger root to a full boil. Add oysters with their liquid, then cabbage, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and pea pods. Heat to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until cabbage is tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the green onions. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4
Baked Oysters with Spinach and Champagne Beurre Blanc
- 2-3 cups rock or course salt, for baking sheet
- 2 dozen oysters, shucked, liquor and bottom shell reserved separately
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup dry champagne or sparkling wine
- 3 large shallows, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
- 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- course salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 1 pound fresh or frozen spinach, thawed Snipped fresh chives, for garnish
- Pour salt into a rimmed baking sheet. Nestle oyster shells in the salt; set aside.
- Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to simmer; cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat; set aside.
- Meanwhile, place champagne, shallots, and vinegar in another small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is almost evaporated. Add the reduced cream, and cook for 1 minute.
- Remove pan from heat, and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time, adding each new piece before the previous one has melted completely. (The sauce should not get hot enough to liquefy. It should be the consistency of thin hollandaise.) Add 1/2 cup oyster liquor to the sauce, and season with salt and white pepper. Keep warm.
- If using fresh spinach rinse it thoroughly several times, and place in a saucepan with just the water that clings to the leaves. Cover the pan, and cook spinach until bright green and just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain well, and roughly chop. (Squeeze excess moisture from thawed frozen spinach).
- Preheat broiler with rack 5 inches from the heat source. Divide spinach equally among the shells. Top with a shucked oyster. Spoon on enough sauce to cover the oyster, about 1 tablespoon per shell. Place under the broiler until sauce bubbles and edges of oysters start to curl. about 1 minutes. Garnish with chives, and serve.
Makes 2 dozen
Southwest Fried Oysters
Southern Living magazine
Makes 4 to 6 servings, prep is 20 minutes, chill 2 hours, frying is 3 minutes per batch.
Select fairly large shucked oysters.
- 2 pints fresh oysters, drained
- 2 cups buttermild
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil
Combine oysters and buttermilk in a large shollow dish or zip-top plastic freezer bag. Cover or seal and chill at least 2 hours. Drain oysters well. Combine flour and the next 9 ingredients. Dredge oysters in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch ina Dutch oven; heat to 370 degrees. Fry oysters, in batches, 3 minutes or until golded. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.
- Shuck six oysters and reserve the liquor
- Mix 1/3 can of coconut creme/milk and 1 TB Thai green curry paste. Both
of these are available at most Asian groceries
- Add the oyster liquor. Whisk until smooth
- Adjust sauce to your taste by adding a bit more paste or coconut milk
- Place oysters and sauce in a shallow pan over low heat, and warm very
gently, turning the oysters occasionally, until the sauce just simmers on
the outside of the pan. Turn off heat and let rest for a couple minutes.
Oysters should be just warm inside
- Serve, one or two per person
Wash and scrub the shells and scrape off their beards. Allow 12-20 mussels per person. Supply plenty of good crusty bread for dipping in the broth.
- 4 pounds washed mussels
- 1/4 cup butter
- 6 shallots or green onion (white part only)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- Freshly ground pepper
- Melted butter for dipping mussels
Sauté shallots and garlic in butter until soft. Add Wine, parsley, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add mussels, cover and simmer gently until shells open, about 4-6 minutes. Discard unopened shells. Serve mussels and broth in bowls.
Spanish Stuffed Mussels
Spain eats more mussels then any country in the world. (France is # 2) The MOST popular way mussels are served in Spain is as a stuffed mussel. This is an easy recipe that blows people away and can be prepared well in advance of your party. Very simply, you steam the mussels in a MINIMAL amount of butter/wine/garlic herb broth. Then you tear one of the half shells of the mussel off, leaving a cooked mussel on half a shell. Then you take old, hard French bread (ok, use fresh French bread but take off the crust) and grate it (or chop it) and add to the broth in the mussel pot. How much bread o you add? Think mush, think kids soup that is full of crackers, and think thick! Then spoon this mush of bread and mussel pot broth onto the mussel in the half shell. Now you can let this rest until you are ready for service. To serve, put mussels on a cookie sheet (with rock salt to hold them if you desire) and broil until the mushy mixture has browned into a delicious piece of toast, with all the flavors of he mussel pot concentrated into the bread, mush mixture. In Spain, the mussels are served in their half shell, hot out of the broiler. The French would have flattened the mushy bread/mussel pot mixture before broiling. Then they would flip the mussel onto a plate, discarding the shell, leaving a mussel on a piece of toast. A crème sauce would be dripped over the mussels and then served hot with a cold white wine. This could be served as an appetizer (1/2 pound per person) or a main course (1 pound per person).
- 2 pounds Mussels (scrubbed and de-bearded)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 shallot minced
- Scallions minced (for color)
- 1/2 pound butter
- 2 cups white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
Soften the scallions, shallots and garlic in the butter. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the mussels and pull each mussel out as it begins to open. Allow the mussels to cool as you add the bread to your broth. Arrange the mussels on their half shells and stuff with the bread/mussel pot paste. (Flatten the paste if serving French style) Broil for two minutes until the paste is now a browned toast. Serve immediately.
This rich and creamy chowder makes a delightful supper with a fresh spinach salad and crusty bread.
- 3 cups cooked, chopped clams
- 4 cups clam nectar
- 1 quart half and half
- 1 1/2 pounds Swiss cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
- 1 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 tablespoons fresh thyme or 1/2 tablespoon dried
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
In a 6 quart double boiler, place clams, clam nectar, half-and-half, and cheese. Place over low heat until the liquid becomes quite warm, then add chives, bell pepper, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic. In a saucepan over high heat, reduce the wine by half its volume and add to clam mixture. In another saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and slowly add flour to make a roux. Cook flour in butter, stirring constantly, until it is well thickened but not browned.
When ingredients in double boiler are hot enough to steam, add roux, slowly blending in with a wire whip. Cook for 45 minutes over low heat. Do not allow to boil. If soup does not thicken properly, add a little more roux. If soup is too thick, thin with half-and-half. Makes 1 gallon
Rhode Island Clear Clam Chowder
For equipment, you will need an 8-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid (for steaming open the clams), a fine-mesh strainer, a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot (for the chowder), a wooden spoon, a small pot (to warm the milk), and a ladle.
Credit for this recipe goes to Jasper White. The name of Jasper's book is "50 Chowders, one-pot meals -- clam, corn and beyond" (Scribner, 2000.)
- 8 pounds small quahogs or large cherrystone clams
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold, Maine, PEl, or other all-purpose potatoes peeled and cut
- 4 ounces slab (unsliced) bacon (rind removed and cut into 1/3-inch dice into 1/2-inch dice)
- 2 cups Clam Broth
- bottled clam juice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Traditional Fish Stock
- 2 medium onions (12 to 14 ounces) cut into 1/2-inch dice
- Chicken Stock or water (as a last resort)
- 3 stalks celery (6 ounces) cut into 1/3-inch dice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
- Kosher or sea salt if needed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (1 tablespoon) parsley
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil (optional)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 to 3 cups whole milk
- Scrub the clams and rinse clean. Steam them open, following the instructions on page 64. Strain the broth; you should have 4 cups of broth (and 1 pound of clams). Cover the clams with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. After they have cooled a bit, dice them into 1/2-inch pieces. Cover again and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the bacon. Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the bacon is a crisp golden brown. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.
- Add the butter, onions, celery, thyme, bay leaves, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes, if using, and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the onions are softened but not browned.
- Add the potatoes, the reserved clam broth, and the additional 2 cups broth, and continue to cook over medium heat until the chowder begins to simmer; if it begins to boil, turn down the heat slightly so that it maintains a steady simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes longer, until the potatoes are very tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the diced clams, and season to taste with black pep- per and the lemon juice. (It is unlikely that you will need to add any salt; the clams usually provide enough.) If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it has chilled completely. Otherwise, let it sit at room temperature for up to an hour, allowing the flavors to meld.
- When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; do not let it boil. Stir in the parsley, chives, and chervil. At the same time, heat the milk over low heat; do not let it boil.
- Ladle the chowder into cups or bowls making sure that the clams, potatoes, onions, and bacon are evenly divided; do not fill the cups or bowls more than three-quarters full. As is customary in Rhode Island, serve the hot milk in a small pitcher so each person can add as much as he or she likes to their chowder, if any.
Makes 12 cups; serves 12 as a first course or 6 to 8 as a main course
Best on raw oysters, mussels, and clams.
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup cilantro
1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed
Pour 1/2 cup vinegar into a food processor or blender with all other ingredients and blend until they are finely chopped. Add the rest of the vinegar. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
Soy Ginger Sauce
Best on raw or barbecued oysters.
1 cup tamari sauce
1/4 cup green onions
1/4 cup fresh ginger root (peeled)
Chinese style chili oil, to taste
Finely chop the onions and ginger. Combine with all of the other ingredients and let stand for at least 1 hour.
Classic French Mignonette
This is a very simple recipe and is hundreds of years old. Just add finely sliced shallots to either a red wine vinegar or a champagne vinegar and season with fresh ground pepper. That is it.
1 shallot, finely minced 2 cups of vinegar (red wine or champagne)
Fresh ground pepper.
Apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegars do not really work that well in this recipe. The acidity of the grapes is needed to give this sauce its classic taste.)
No Bullshit Cocktail Sauce
Cocktail sauce is a mixture of catsup, apple cider vinegar, horseradish, lemon juice and spices such as pepper and Worchester sauce. You could also use tomato puree and fresh horseradish root for a thicker, southern style horseradish sauce.
2 cups catsup
I usually make mine in larger quantities and blend it in a food processor. You may also use an herb vinaigrette (like cilantro vinaigrette). By the way, I find most cocktail sauces are pretty wimpy, not having near enough spice. People then drown their food in this wimpy catsup.
2 tablespoons horseradish
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (or lime juice)
1/2 cup cider vinegar