Huîtres Chaudes au Muscadet Incognito

by Michelle on April 29, 2009

This week for Whisk Wednesday we made Huîtres Chaudes au Mascadet or Poached Oysters with Mascadet Sabayon Sauce. I was looking forward to making this recipe but when it came time for me to buy the Oysters my market only had teeny tiny oysters which were hardly worth shucking! So I opted to substitute Octopus! I know it’s a reach to substitute Octopus for Oysters but it turned out fabulously delicious and we just happen to love Octopus!

This was a fun recipe but most definitely “incognito” being I substituted Octopus for Oysters and it’s served in a Clam Shell. But at least I kept my dish to under the sea! I first marinated the Octopus over night in EVOO, Basil, Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar. About 10 minutes before serving dinner I drained the Octopus and put it under the boiler for about 5-8 minutes. The Octopus was so tender and just delicious. I served it in a Clam Shell on a bed of saute spinach with onions and topped with Sabayon Sauce. In total I made 19 shells. I ate 6 and Mr. Tastebuds ate the remaining 13 and he loved it! The Sabayon Sauce was FANTASTIC and I will most definitely be making this again. I did follow the recipe for the Sabayon Sauce except I only used 4 TBL of clarified butter which was plenty.

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My initial tasting of Octopus was while on a day trip to Tarpon Springs a large Greek Community on the Gulf Coast of FL. It was on a Sunday and we were attending the annual Tarpon Spring Arts Festival. I kept seeing people with plates of heaping orange, curley-cue stuff. Well, the curly-cue stuff was grilled Octopus. I just had to try it and from my first bite to the last it was delicious.

Tarpon Springs was established around 1905 by immigrants from the Greek Islands of Aegina, Halki, Kalymnos and Symi. By 1936, Tarpon Springs was recognized as the natural sponge capital of the world and there were approximately 2000 Greek immigrants living in the area. The 1953 movie “Beneath the 12-mile Reef” starring a very young, VERY macho Robert Wagner, was filmed in Tarpon Springs and highlights the Greek culture revolving around sponge diving. I remember first seeing the movie on TV when I was a child and oddly enough I just watched it again a few weeks ago!

Huîtres Chaudes au Mascadet
Recipe adapted from “Le Cordon Bleu at Home”

24 oysters (I subbed abt 1 lb of octopus)
2 lbs of spinach, cleaned, stemmed and rinsed
Salt

Muscabet Sabayon Sauce:

2 TBL butter
2 shallots, chopped fine
2/3 c. dry white wine, preferably Muscadet
2/3 c. creme fraiche
Freshly ground pepper
4 egg yolks
1/4 c. water
1/2 lb butter, clarified (I used 4 TBL)

4 TBL butter
Freshly ground pepper

Option: I used fresh spinach leaves to line the platter to stabilize the clam shells

Octo1

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Comments

  • mary April 29, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Wow, what elegant presentation. Looks amazing!

  • Melissa Clifford April 29, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Wow, that is great! And I love octopus. What a great sub!

  • Keetha Denise Broyles April 29, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Oh my, those looke fabulous!!! I don’t know if I’d like the octopus or not, haven’t had it. BUT – I love scallops, wonder how THEY’D be in this recipe.

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies April 29, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    What a neat idea! I haven’t cooked octopus before, very creative sub!

  • Michelle April 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Keetha,

    After eating this last night ANY seafood, including shellfish would be substituted. Scallops would be wonderful. I would lightly bread and saute in butter for a few minutes.

    I have a scallop recipe here:

    http://bigblackdogs.blogspot.com/2009/03/easy-way-scallops.html

  • cantbelieveweate April 30, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Excellent adaptation my dear!! It sounds absolutely wonderful! Wasn’t that sauce incredible??

  • cantbelieveweate April 30, 2009 at 3:37 am

    Excellent adaptation my dear! I know I’ll be on the lookout for octopus in the future! Wasn’t that sauce incredible?

  • Shari May 1, 2009 at 1:27 am

    I love your switch up to octopus. I don’t think I’ve ever had it. I should remember that, doncha think! That sabayon was so good!

  • Kayte May 1, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Your presentation is absolutely stunning…each one of those looks so perfect. I would love to have tasted this with the sabayon sauce on it. Great choice…I might get brave and try this one also…I still have some sauce, and if I can score some octopus, it might be a go while I am in my wild eating spree! Great job, Michelle.

  • Elyse May 5, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Mm, that octopus looks great! I’m so glad that the sauce was so amazing. I think this was a perfect substitute. And the presentation in the clam shells was just wonderful!

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