“Being at home, preparing a meal for someone special of your very own — this is an act of love. It is much more significant than presenting candy or flowers. The food itself may be tempting, but it is the energy you put into the preparation and presentation of the meal that is sexy.”
— Two for Tonight: Pure Romance from L’Auberge Chez François by Jacques E. Haeringer
None more bare than the shoemaker’s wife and the smith’s mare. I realized my online recipe collection lacks substantial French cuisine representation. This, I feel, is wrong, since classic French cuisine had much influence on my culinary education.
Recently, I got a new cookbook (which is quoted above) as a gift. It inspired me to work on my Romantic French Menu. The book doesn’t have many pictures, but it has all the right words. I do too tell couples this when teach my cooking classes — “Bring that special someone into the kitchen first — who knows what may follow. Love begins in the kitchen.” — I find this to be oh so true.
However, outside Texas and other Gulf states, couples in love will have equal chances to enhance their love life through this delicacy of the sea. There are many regions of the world which produce potent and wonderful oysters.
The French are famous for being good in the kitchen. They never worry that their most common oyster varieties — the Fine de Claire and the Tsarskaya (aka Pasific) are considered petit. It’s not the size — it’s how you use it. In this case — how many. French cooks would take 5-6 of them per portion of soup.
Britain’s culinary skills, on the other hand, have been stereotypically denounced for ages. That’s probably why Brits like to impress the rest of the Europe with their giant old European oysters (aka Pied de Cheval). One could say, one of those per plate is enough.
Puns, jokes and poetry aside, learn about different regional oyster varieties from the sources listed in Recipe Notes below.
As you will become an expert in shucking oysters, you will have to demonstrate it in front of your lover. If you are an ingénue, try this method from ChefSteps.com: “If the traditional method is the equivalent to prying a door open with a crowbar, this method is akin to picking a lock — you’ll feel less like a sweaty lout, more like a sexy spy.” Following the steps, shuck the oysters, reserving the oyster liquor, which is the natural juice inside the shell.
That clear juice is precious. It keeps the creature alive when out of the water. It smells like fresh wind from the ocean and tastes amazing. No wonder it’s referred to as liquor. If you prefer to start with shucked oysters, ask your fishmonger to add oyster liquor after they’ve been weighed and priced.
Love lifts us up and true passion need not be heavy. I modified this recipe to cater to the delicate passions of modern eaters.