When you are fortunate to find really fresh seafood, such as oysters, it is a shame to drown them in sauces or heavy spices that hide the flavor. A mignonette is a traditional accompaniment to oysters and other shellfish that accentuates the fresh, briny flavor of the fish and that provides the right pop of acidity that an oyster really needs.
Try some of the following recipes for mignonette the next time you create an oyster bar for a party:
Classic mignonette is made with red wine vinegar and is typically served spooned over fresh, shucked oysters, clams, or scallops. The only other ingredients in this mignonette is finely minced shallots and freshly ground black pepper, though some may add a pinch of kosher salt to their sauce, too.
For an elegant twist on classic mignonette with freshly-shucked oysters, substitute champagne vinegar for the red wine vinegar in the recipe. Add a pinch or two of sugar to balance out the flavors. This is a sophisticated way to serve oysters at a cocktail party.
For a slightly Asian twist on a classic dish, try serving your oysters or seafood with a cucumber mignonette sauce. This recipe combines rice wine vinegar with shallot, fresh ginger, a little sugar, coarse black pepper, and a diced cucumber. Chop your cucumber fine, removing seeds and skins; the longer the sauce is left in the refrigerator, the better it will be.
Another great way to serve fresh shellfish is with a homemade citrus mignonette; adding orange and lemon juice to white wine vinegar can give your seafood a sweet, acidic bite that is very tasty and refreshing. Combine orange juice, orange zest, lemon zest, chopped shallots, kosher salt, and a drizzle of honey to your white wine vinegar. Chill to marry the flavors before serving.
Sea scallops are also great with mignonette, and making it with balsamic vinegar gives your shellfish a touch of sweetness. Make a balsamic mignonette sauce for oysters or raw scallops by adding a chopped scallion and plenty of salt and pepper to your vinegar. Buying balsamic vinegar is a lot like purchasing wine; the older varieties are considered more appealing and may cost more.
These mignonette recipes are delicate and subtle, so as to not disguise or overpower the natural briny taste of your seafood. The acid in the vinegar is the perfect complement for the salty richness of the oyster or scallop and provides just the right something to bring out the flavor. Try any one of these mignonette recipes the next time you bring home fresh oysters or shellfish!Share
15 August 2015
Several years ago I realized that I needed to do something about the way that my business was running. I owned what used to be a popular restaurant, but in recent years, I was having trouble getting people in through the door. I was really frustrated with our sales, so I started focusing heavily on turning things around. I worked with a professional restaurant consultant to make some big changes, and it made a huge difference. This blog is dedicated to managing your restaurant the smart way. After all, you never know how incredible your restaurant can be without focusing on what needs to change.