garlic

Weekend Oyster Bar

"Contentez-vous de peu et vous serez toujours heureux." My parents came to visit this week and so did my girlfriend's family. We all had a great time together, enjoying the scenery, the food and a few drinks. Since the weather has been so chill and the water so cold, we also went oystering and musseling. One afternoon we set out at low tide and returned a little later with no less than eighty oysters and sixty mussels, all of them wild, fresh, and mind-blowingly good. We ate the shellfish on the back deck, now also known as the Weekend Oyster Bar.

We slugged a couple of oysters with lemon and cold Canadian beer. The mussels I cooked with vermouth (as martinis were in demand), and my mother found seven tiny pearls in one of them.  Later on I served the rest of the oysters with shallots, garlic and tomatoes tossed over pasta. You'll find the recipe for that below.

On sunny Father's Day we went around the Cabot Trail, stopping every few kilometers to take in another dramatic view, explore a pebbly beach, or check out the local crafts. I'm so glad to live in an area that is not only beautiful and wild but also home to woodworkers, potters, leathersmiths, metal sculptors and glass blowers--in essence, home to artists and creative individuals. Here are a few of the shops whose wares I will be featuring on the blog.

Leather goods - Leather Works Cutting boards - Woodsmiths Studio Plates and more - Big Hill Pottery

Serves 4

Pasta with Oysters, Shallots, Garlic and Tomatoes

• 40 oysters, shucked + some juice • 2 cups tomatoes, diced with juice • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 3 shallots, finely chopped • small handful of flat-leaf parsley, cut in chiffonade • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated • 1/2 lemon juice • olive oil • salt + ground black pepper

Cook your choice of pasta in boiling water. Set aside. In a large pan, cook the oysters in a bit of olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the shallots, garlic and parlsey. Cook on high heat for another minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer for a couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top the pasta with the sauce, some parmesan, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Part 3 - Lunch: Flatbread Lobster Roll

I wanted to make a lobster roll that you could actually roll. I have nothing against the classic hot-dog bread buns, but I figured flatbreads are so easy to make, why not give those a whirl? My preferred way to eat lobster is straight up with a squeeze of lemon and soaked in garlic butter. Simple but effective. It's the same here, but rolled in a flatbread. Also check out: Part 1 - Cooking the Lobster Part 2 - Lobster Eggs Benedict Part 4 - Lobster Stuffed Shells Part 5 - Lobster Bisque

The flatbreads need a couple of hours to rise, so plan in advance. Don't worry about making too much, the dough keeps well in the fridge for up to a week and it's a triple purpose recipe; flatbreads, pizza dough, and small buns.

Yields 12 flatbreads

Flatbreads

• 3 cups white flour • 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water • 2 teaspoons yeast • 2 teaspoons salt

In a large bowl, mix the yeast and the water. Then, add the salt and flour and work with your hands until smooth. Add a bit of water if needed. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in volume. If time is on your side, you can even let it rise overnight. At this point you can store it, covered, in the fridge.

Take a chunk of dough just a bit bigger than a golf ball, roll it on a floured surface to about 1/8". Roll as much as you need. Flour in between the rolled flatbreads to make sure they don't stick to each other. Heat up a pan. Drizzle a bit of oil and put the flatbread on. It should cook less than a minute on each side. Set it aside on a plate covered with tin foil so it stays hot. Repeat.

Garlic Butter

• 1/4 cup butter • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped

In a small saucepan, on low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic, simmer for a minute, and remove from heat. If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.

Roll it up

Put lobster meat on a flatbread (I used claws), drizzle with garlic butter, squeeze a lemon wedge, roll up and enjoy!

Garlic Red Potatoes, Chives and Parmesan

Who doesn't like potatoes? They're inexpensive, very tasty, and they fill you up nicely. In this recipe I pan-fried and then oven-roasted small red potatoes and mixed them with garlic butter, some chives and parmesan. Breakfast, lunch or dinner - I could eat them anytime! You could also cool them completely and make an awesome potato salad just by adding some mayo and sour cream.

Ingredients

• 3 lbs small red potatoes • 3 tablespoons olive or sunflower oil • 3 tablespoons butter • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped • 1/2 bunch of chives • 1/2 cup quality parmesan • salt + pepper

Preheat the oven to 375F. Wash and cut the potatoes in half. Put the oil in a saute pan and heat up at medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, face down, and cook for 6-7 minutes, until they're golden. Do it in 2 batches. Transfer them face up in a oven pan. Salt and pepper and in the oven for 30 minutes. In a small saucepan melt the butter and add the garlic. Cook on low heat for 2 minutes. Once the potatoes are done, get them out and transfer them to a large bowl. Add the parmesan, chives and garlic butter. Stir gently with a wooden spoon. Drop in pinch of salt. Serve and eat!