Special Occasion Oysters from BLT Prime

For this week's VV dining newsletter newsletter (sign up here), Chris Leahy of BLT Prime gave writer Hailey Eber a dressed-up oyster recipe, perfect for New Year's Eve or a Christmas Day lunch.

 Widow's Hole Oyster Company harvests oysters from Greenport Harbor off the coast of Long Island. Leahy prefers these ultra-fresh local oysters, but if you can't locate them, use any good oysters you can find. Also, it's obviously pretty great if you can afford truffle shavings, but if (like us) you can't, we think the recipe would be delicious without them, too.

Widow's Hole Oysters with Chestnut Purée and Pickled Chanterelles

Yield: 6 servings

For the pickled chanterelles:
1/4 cup apple cider
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon whole pink peppercorns
1 tablespoon salt
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
24 pieces small chanterelles
For the chestnut purée:
12 whole chestnuts, roasted and peeled
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/4 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
For the oysters:
36 Widow's Hole Oysters
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
6 teaspoons freshly grated black winter truffles

Make the pickled chanterelles: In a saucepan over high heat, combine all ingredients except chanterelles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Place the chanterelles into an airtight container. Pour the hot liquid over the chanterelles, cover, and allow to cool. While this mixture is cooling, the chanterelles will begin to pickle. Set aside.

Make the chestnut purée: Slice each chestnut into 1/8-inch pieces and place into a small saucepan. Place the pot over medium heat, and add the cream and chopped rosemary. Allow mixture to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the white truffle oil, (if using) and season with salt and white pepper. Transfer mixture to a blender, and purée until smooth.

Shuck the oysters:  Shuck each oyster, and place into a mixing bowl. Dress with the lemon juice.

To serve: Spread 1 tablespoon of the purée into the center of 6 rectangular plates. Line 6 oysters over the purée, and top with 4 pieces of the pickled chanterelles. Garnish each plate with 1 teaspoon of the grated black winter truffles. Serve immediately.
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