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April 16, 2008

The Mind-Blowing Oyster Journey


You are now invited to take a journey. You will know that you have arrived at your destination when your mind can be reliably described as blown. Your guides on this trip include smoked oysters, olives and a French baguette.


The oysters naturally take center stage as your chief guide, and it is with these that we start. And as the ingredient that can most reliably be considered exotic (at the very least uncommon), it is your best guide into a world that you perhaps haven’t contemplated. The results are not always pleasant.


Here, we make a promise. No food stuff should be blended together in ways that make it painful to eat. It insults the ingredients, and in some circles it is believed that once an ingredient is thusly spurned, it will forever taste in your mouth as ash.


First, set aside equal parts of oyster, green olives and red onion.

Chop the oysters, olives, red onion and a clove or two of garlic together. Chop them until they have nearly ceased to have individual identity, and have all blended into an oystery blob in a bowl. On top of them, crumble goat cheese.

Once warmed a bit, the goat cheese, when mixed with other things, will cement all the little pieces of oyster, onion and olive together. Stir them together until it has achieved the consistency of paste.

You look at it, and recoil in horror. You have mixed together ingredients that are sometimes powerful in their flavor, but the appearance is enough to terrify even the most stout of hearts. Do more damage by cutting into small, fine pieces fresh basil, and mixing it in. You can be forgiven if, after looking at what you have produced, you think you have created camouflage-patterned, gray clay.


Take a fresh baguette and cut it into hunks that are several inches in thickness. Spoon the camo-colored clay on top.


This is edible as it is, but if part of eating is aesthetics, you still have some work to do.


The easiest way to fix the problems of appearance here is to simply wipe the slate clean . . . so to speak.


Preheat your oven to broil, and grate some parmesan cheese.


Lay the cheese over the top of the oystery paste, and broil it until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.


Look down on your creation from above. What lays under the parmesan cheese will no longer be visible except around the edges. In fact, looking down, it will appear as if it were something of a cheese pizza, with baguette as the crust and the oyster blend as the sauce.


But, they are much smaller, and the baguette is a product of France and not Italy. The world, it turns out, is full of these kinds of mysteries. If your mission in taking this journey was to have your mind blown, you have arrived in spectacular fashion. Contemplate in a fashion that best suits you.


© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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