First Course

Oysters with Lemon Granita

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Raw oysters and granitas are a perfect match – you can experiment with different flavors, and the granita keeps the oysters ice cold when serving. This dish will make any dinner just a little fancier and takes relatively little effort, depending on how good you are at shucking oysters. I added chile and minced shallots as well, but these are not necessary.  You’ll need to get the granita in the freezer at least 4 to 5 hours before serving, and be around to scrape it every hour or so, to help give it a granita-like texture and not a frozen block of ice. Feel free to experiment with other flavors – like Bloody Mary, beets, or apples.

Oysters on the Half Shell with Lemon Granita, for 1 dozen oysters

Ingredients

1/4 cup lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp. sugar

1 thai chile, seeds removed and sliced thinly

Minced shallots (optional)

1 dozen oysters, shucked

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Steps

Heat the water in a small saucepan over the stove. Add the sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once cooled, add the sugar water to the lemon juice in a small, shallow Tupperware or bowl. Taste, and add more sugar or lemon if you like. Place in the freezer, and every hour, remove the granita from the freezer and scrape with a fork. This will keep the granita from freezing into a block of ice. You can make this a few hours or a few days before serving. Make sure to remove it from the freezer 15 minutes before using.

Shuck the oysters, and garnish each with a piece of the chile. Top with a teaspoon of the granita. The granita will melt quickly, so serve immediately! These will go fast.

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