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50 Great Appetizers
by Pamela Sheldon Johns
Fresh, briny oysters are a festive appetizer that will whet the appetites of your guests for a special meal to come. Serve them with the same Champagne used to make the sauce, and your guests will swoon! You will need coarse sea salt to make a bed for each bowl of oysters.
Serves 8



    • 16 oysters in the shell
    • Coarse sea salt
    • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
    • 2 leeks, white part only, cut into julienne
    • 1½ cups Champagne
    • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
    • Salt and freshly ground white pepper


•Shuck the oysters, reserving as much liquor as possible. Set aside. Wash the shells, drain, and pat dry. Line 8 shallow soup bowls with coarse salt. Place 2 oyster shells in each bowl.

• Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat and sauté the leeks until softened, about 4 minutes. Divide the leeks among the oyster shells.

• Add the Champagne to the pan used to cook the leeks and stir over medium heat. Add the shallots, increase the heat to high, and cook to reduce the liquid by half. Add the oysters and the reserved oyster liquor for 30 seconds, just to warm the oysters. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place an oyster on top of each leek-filled shell. Spoon the reduced pan liquid over the oysters and serve immediately.


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