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Few places offer better oysters than the Pacific Northwest, and Guy is on the Southern end of Puget Sound preparing three different varieties.
- Good day, guys. My name's Gus and I'm from Buenos Aires and every chef knows fresh is best. In this series, we'll be foraging, fishing and filing for the freshest ingredients. We're leaving the kitchen behind, getting in the great outdoors, cooking seasonal recipes. On the beach, in the forest and on the patio. So come join us. Woo! We're here on the southern end of the Puget Sound in Washington State. Today's recipe's all about oysters. We're doing three kinds of oysters. We're doing oysters mignonette, we're doing Oysters Kilpatrick, and we're gonna do a pickled cucumber and ginger, Asian-inspired oysters. It's gonna be delicious. We're gonna go foraging. These are not a fashion accessory, they're completely practical so I'm getting in that cold water. Let's go see what we can find. In the Pacific water tital flush of a Totten Inlet is a perfect environment for Pacific oysters. To help me out, I'm working with a local oyster forager.
- My name's Marco Pencho and I work for Taylor Shellfish Farms. Taylors have been farming here for a long time. Now five generations, since about 1890. On this actual farm, we've been farming the Olympia oysters for about 120 years. So anywhere along here we should be able to get 'em.
- So they should just be chilling on the ground?
- Yep, yep. You just gotta find the ones that are still nice and tight. Closed up.
- Freshness is really one of the most important things with oysters. We actually harvest our oysters at high tide, so that you can actually pull them directly out of the water and get them straight out and shipped all over the world as quickly as possible.
- [Gus] So you go by hand, you put them in the cage?
- [Marco] Yep.
- You leave them out till high tide.
- And then you pick them out of the water when they're at their cleanest and freshest.
- The freshest. Yeah, and when the water's the coldest so everything's really chilled down, because the water's deep over 'em and then you pull them straight out of the deep water and you've got, they're just at their best at that moment. Today, we're actually taking it one step further where we're actually, we're pulling the oysters straight out of the water and eating them on the spot which can't be beaten. I mean, that's the absolute freshest oyster you could ever have in your life is pulling one directly off the tidelands, shucking it right then and there and slurping it down.
- [Gus] So there's one right there?
- [Marco] There's one right there.
- Pop him open, straight into it. Doesn't stay any fresher than this.
- Look at that.
- [Gus] Oh, wow. They're stunning.
- [Marco] Little bit of shell on that bad boy.
- [Gus] That's right, that's just extra minerals.
- [Marco] You wanna go for it?
- [Gus] Hell yeah, I wanna go for it.
- Mm. It's delicious. So good. So salty and minerally and beautiful. Creamy.
- [Marco] Well, they are fresh like this, so.
- And that pop.
- That's a fat oyster.
- So good it's unbelievable.
- Well, we better get some--
- And again, just over the shoulder. No big deal.
- Yeah. I'll look for it now. Totten Inlet kind of hits that magic in-between spot where the oysters grow at a reasonable pace but they grow really, really fat and they end up with a nice, hard shell so it sort of grows one of the best oysters available anywhere in the world. What's the saying with berries? It's like you eat two, put one in the--
- Same kinda deal. This forage is long.
- [Gus] Yeah, can turn completely. Save the best ones for yourself. Tough luck.
- Alright, guys. So we've just been foraging for these gorgeous oysters here on the Totten and now I'm gonna show you three ways to eat them and to dress them. I'm also gonna teach you how to shuck them properly and then we're gonna cook 'em on the campfire. I mean, what a setting. Let's get oystering. To shuck oysters safely, you need three things. You need a firm surface to work on, you need your oyster shucker and you also need some sort of protective wear. So I've got some gloves on hand, but if you don't have these at home, you can also use a tea towel. So you're just gonna fold your tea towel in half, in half again, and then just fold it over and you're just gonna rest your oyster in here and that protects your hand to make sure you don't stab yourself if you slip, which does happen because I've opened a thousand of these before. You're gonna put your oyster down, you're gonna get your oyster shucker and at the back of the oyster, there's a little opening and you're gonna put the tip of the oyster shucker in there, and when you feel it in there firm, all you have to do then is just twist and pop your oyster open. Just like that. You wanna run your knife against the flat shell, angled up and release the top muscle, just like that, which is that one there and look at that. I mean, this is gonna taste so good and it's so unbelievably fresh. You wanna work gently, work slowly not just for safety reasons but also because you don't wanna pierce or pop your oyster. You want that pop when you put it in your mouth and you eat it so work gently, work slowly. So our first recipe is mignonette so it's a very classic, French dressing. What we're gonna do is we're gonna dice these shallots up into really small brunoise, which are really delicate bits. I'm gonna do a little bit of lemon rind and this is not traditional but it is gonna taste delicious. And that's all that really matters, let's be honest. Black pepper. Bit of thyme. It's that simple. We're just gonna add some white wine vinegar and good quality white wine vinegar is a key of this simple recipe. If you find it a bit too acidic, you can also balance it out with some white wine or champagne. Straight into the same jar, I'm gonna give it a shimmy and then serve that with these oysters. Well, the shimmy's optional, obviously. But just give it a shake. So our next recipe is the chili, ginger and pickled cucumber recipe. I'm just gonna use a little bit of lemon grass. And with the back of your knife, what you wanna do is bash lemon grass, it's gonna break it up. It's gonna release the flavor, it's gonna release the juices. It's gonna mean this is gonna infuse into this rice wine vinegar really, really well. I'm just gonna use half a clove, not too much. I'm just gonna use half a chili. I'm just gonna remove the seeds. So we're just gonna toast our sesame seeds in a nice, warm pan. We're then going to add our chili, ginger and our garlic and then infuse 'em with our rice wine vinegar. While that's infusing, I'm gonna dice up our cucumber, I'm gonna slice some ginger really finely, I'm also gonna chop up some coriander. I'm just gonna work on a flat surface and just cut a little bit of the cucumber off, roll it over. We want nice, even cubes. Something to clean the ginger. I'm just gonna take a little bit off the end here and then just rub my knife down and clean it and take the skin off so it's just the ginger flesh. I'm just gonna slice this up into little batons. So our ginger, cucumber are gonna go into a mixing bowl and then our infused vinegar is gonna go on top and that's gonna pickle and infuse and all come together and it smells unbelievable. And as if today couldn't get anymore perfect, the sun's coming out, okay? So the next recipe is an awesome Kilpatrick. So what we're gonna do is we're actually gonna cook it on the fire here, it's gonna be delicious. There's some really nice smoked bacon. So just slash beautiful, good quality smoked bacon up in little batons. We're gonna cook it in the shell itself, with a bit of baddock. We're gonna take all of the oysters out of the shell and we're gonna use the shell almost as a little pan. So the shell's going in the fire, bacon's going on top with a bit of baddock. Caramelizing. Oysters are gonna go on top and then we're gonna finish it off with our Tabasco and our awesome, tasty Worcestershire sauce. So, the Oysters Kilpatrick have been there for about 10 minutes and they're ready to go. That bacon's caramelized, the Worcestershire and Tabasco has all come together. It's time to plate the rest of our oysters. Alright, that's all finished. Now it's time to feed Marco and get your feedback.
- [Marco] Sweet.
- Tell 'em what you think of your gorgeous oysters.
- Oh, God. Those are gorgeous. Well done.
- [Gus] I say we go from cold to hot. What do you reckon? So start with the mignonette.
- That's great.
- Oh, yeah.
- Not traditional with the thyme and everything else, but--
- It's alright. I love it.
- The cucumber adds a crunch, which I really like. It's really good.
- Texture, acid.
- Lots of other pairings. Alright, now Kilpatrick.
- [Both] Cheers.
- Oh, this one's so savory.
- Looks awesome, huh?
- Love it. Alright.
- Go on, see you later. Mm. How awesome is that? Tasty?
- Thanks for showing us around.
- Thanks so much for coming.
- Our pleasure. Thanks for watching, guys. Make sure you check out all the other episodes. We'll see you next week. We're gonna open and eat some more oysters.
- See you around. Fresh is always best!
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