Mignonette (French Shallot) Vinaigrette for Oysters

Serves: 24 oysters (at least!)

Nat and I love oysters and one of our favourite things is to hit a great steak restaurant for lunch and kick it off with a dozen oysters and a bottle of Champagne.

Yum.

Personally, I always prefer a raw oyster and it needs to be small: a Sydney Rock Oyster or something small from Batemans Bay.

(Those Bluff Oysters from NZ are my worst nightmare!)

Sauce wise, I’ve had some compelling granitas and watermelon snows, though geez, you just can’t go past this classic sauce.

Make the sauce a few hours prior to allow the flavours to infuse, and when served, you have gone toe-to-toe with the best steak restaurants out there.

Ingredients

1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Freshly cracked pepper
Fresh raw oysters on the half shell
Champagne

Method

  1. Combine the shallot and red wine vinegar.
  2. Open the Champagne in preparation.
  3. Lightly pepper the oysters and serve each with a good dessertspoon of the sauce.

Thai Basil Beef

Serves: 4

Looking back on it, every blog here that is mince based, starts with something like: mince is the best, mince is our favourite, mince is our last meal, etc.

Because its true.

Any which way, we love it and Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai minces are up there as our favourite weeknight meals.

You’ve been at work, it’s raining, it’s on Monday and yet… you’re having spicy mince for dinner!

This Thai Basil Mince is super easy and you can’t overdo it on the basil front.

It is also healthy, even if you do have it with a cup of boiled Jasmine rice which… because it is Monday… you should.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 tbsp sunflower oil
500gm ground beef mince
2 shallots, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 birds eye chillies, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 lime, juice and zest
1 cup basil (Thai basil if you can)
2 spring onions, thinly sliced, to garnish
Chopped peanuts and crispy fried shallots to garnish
Jasmine rice to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat in a heavy saucepan or wok and cook the beef mince and shallots until the meat is cooked and browning; about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the capsicum, garlic and chillies and cook until fragrant; another 2 – 3 minutes
  3. Add the fish sauce, sugar, lime and basil and cook until the basil starts to wilt; about a minute. Taste test to make sure the balance of salty, sweet and sour is right.
  4. Garnish with the sliced spring onions, chopped peanuts and fried shallots. Serve with rice.