Oysters in Muscat

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 25m

Serves 4

Oysters are always part of the fare for feast days and celebrations. They are an absolute must for midnight supper on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.
The French during the present century have preferred their oysters raw, and it took the revolution of Nouvelle Cuisine to convince them that cooked, as in this recipe, they are equally marvelous.


  • 24 large oysters (flat yellow belons or green speciales for preference)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 pinches freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup Beaumes de Venise muscat (see note below)
  • 1/3 cup thick creme fraiche
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely snipped chives


Open the oysters and pull away the flat shells. Put the oysters into a strainer and let them drain over a bowl for 15 minutes.

Shuck the oysters, reserving their liquor. Strain all the liquor into a 9 1/2-inch nonstick saute pan. Add the shallot and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the wine and creme fraiche and as soon as it returns to a boil, put in the oysters. Simmer for 10 seconds, then turn over and simmer for another 5 seconds. Remove them with a skimmer and divide among 4 warmed plates.

Boil the sauce to reduce by half, and whisk in the butter. Strain the sauce over the oysters. Sprinkle on the chives and serve at once. Add pepper before eating. Accompany with wholemeal toast and sweet (unsalted) butter.

NOTE: The Beaumes de Venise muscat, an excellent liqueur wine, may be replaced by Rivesaltes muscat or by Sauternes.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2698

nutrition information per serving

446 calories; 19g total fat; 224mg cholesterol; 438mg sodium; 22g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 39g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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