Again, cleaning up old issues of The Scotsman. Yes, one of the oyster recipes calls for raw oysters. I'm including it for those who indulge in that particular dietary perversion.
Grilled oysters with garlic butter and parmesan
(serves two as a starter)
4 fresh oysters
4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, crushed
50g unsalted butter, melted
ground black pepper
1 lime, sliced into wedges
Shuck (open) the oysters. Wrap the oyster in a cloth or tea-towel and insert the point of a knife into the hinge. Be careful! Apply pressure until the oyster opens. Discard the top shell, or keep for decoration. Pre-heat the grill to a high temperature.
Place the shucked oysters on a baking tray. Mix the melted butter with the crushed garlic and pour over each oyster. Sprinkle the parmesan on top and season with black pepper. Grill for one to two minutes until parmesan is melted, then take out and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over each one. Grill for a further minute until crisp, and serve with a wedge of lime each.
Fresh oysters with champagne cream
4 fresh oysters
1 shallot, finely chopped
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp freshly chopped chives
100ml whipped cream
1 tbsp champagne
ground black pepper
pinch of paprika
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Melt the butter in a pan and sauté the chopped shallot until soft. Add the champagne and continue to cook for a further minute until reduced by two-thirds. Allow to cool then fold through the whipped cream along with the chopped chives. Season with black pepper to taste.
Shuck the oysters carefully as above. Spoon the champagne cream on to each oyster. Sprinkle with the paprika and serve with a wedge of lemon each.
Asparagus, red pepper and brie risotto
500g fresh asparagus, hard ends discarded
300g arborio rice
1 red pepper, de-seeded and sliced
650ml vegetable stock
100g brie, chopped
30g fresh basil, chopped
50ml olive oil
100ml double or whipping cream
50g freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and ground black pepper
juice from 1 lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place the sliced pepper on a baking tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes until beginning to soften. Remove. Steam the asparagus for three to five minutes until tender. Allow to cool then chop up.
Heat the vegetable stock in a pot and add the chopped brie, stirring until dissolved. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-based pot or pan then add the arborio rice. Stir in until the rice is thoroughly coated.
Pour in the stock, stirring all the time. Keep on a low to medium heat and continue to stir for ten to 15 minutes, adding the cream as you go until the rice is soft. Add the asparagus, roasted pepper, chopped basil and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve and sprinkle the grated parmesan on top.
Passion fruit crème brulee with filo crisps
2 large egg yolks
125ml double cream
75g caster sugar
1 drop vanilla essence
50ml passion fruit pulps, pureed and sieved
For the filo crisps:
2 sheets filo pastry
30g unsalted butter, melted
40g caster sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 150C. Whisk the egg yolks, vanilla and 50g of the sugar until creamed. Warm the cream in a pan (don't boil) and whisk into the egg and sugar mix. Whisk in the passion fruit puree. Pour into ramekins, place in a baking tray and fill with water so that it comes half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Take out and allow to cool, then chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
Make the filo crisps. Cut each sheet into three even-sized rectangles. Lay out one sheet and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with caster sugar. Lay the next sheet over the first and repeat until all the sheets have been used.
Lightly grease and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Cut the filo into triangles and arrange on the tray. Place another sheet of greaseproof paper over the top and weigh down with another baking tray. Place in the oven and bake for ten to 15 minutes until filo is golden brown.
Before serving the brulees, sprinkle the tops with the remaining caster sugar and heat with a blow-torch or under the grill until the sugar has caramelised. Serve with the filo crisps.