Saturday, January 1, 2011


“It is said that without the culinary arts the crudeness of reality would be unbearable.”

This is such a classic line from the movie Kate & Leopold, where Hugh Jackman portrays a gentleman from the 19th century, who unexpectedly finds himself in 21st century New York.  He begins the discourse by sharing that where he comes from, “the meal is the result of reflection and study.  Menus are prepared in advance.  Timed to perfection.”
It all sounds lovely.  But is it possible to truly live this way with our hectic schedules, where  our alarms are set each day so that we can hit the ground running, trying to complete the “list” that never seems to end. I believe we can, it just takes planning.  Food is a powerful vehicle that can transport us in some small way to a time and place to an atmosphere of life that seems fleeting at times.

Now that 2010 has been shown the door and 2011 is ushered in we all have a fresh start.  Looking ahead, forgetting what is behind…setting that invisible bar to the next level. 

This year I hope to take steps toward this idea in different areas of my life, to make the most of every opportunity in relationships, at work, at home, even in the kitchen. 

This dish of Oysters with Champagne Granita is (in my opinion) the epitome of good food and the good life.  The delicious simplicity of a freshly shucked oyster cannot be rivaled.

I love the briny, cold, creamy texture of oysters, but when topped with a frozen granita made from champagne it is taken to a whole different level.

So with the Don Perignon chilled and the oysters at the ready, I raise my glass to you and to the new year.

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language.  And next year’s words await another voice.  And to make an end is to make a beginning.~ T.S. Eliot


Oysters with Champagne Granita
Inspired by Anne Burrell

2 cups Champagne or Prosecco
1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups rock salt for plating (optional)
12 oysters, freshest and your favorite variety or a mix- whatever you like

Combine all of the ingredients, except the oysters, in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir until all of the sugar and salt have dissolved.
Pour the mixture into a wide flat dish and put it in the freezer. As the mixture begins freeze, drag a fork through it to break up the ice crystals. Repeat this process every 15 minutes or so until the mixture is completely frozen. When done it will look like ice shards, kind of slushy but a bit more frozen.
Scrub the outside of the oysters to remove any sand and grit. If using, spread the rock salt out on a serving dish. Shuck the oysters and lay them on the rock salt. Top each oyster with the granita and serve immediately.

Suggested reading:  Consider the Oyster by M.F.K. Fisher

1 comment:

  1. What a treat...glad to have you back posting! We look forward to reading more from you this year.