Fresh Oysters On The Half Shell
If it's Christmas in France, then The Cook and Kitchen Staff must prepare for you the Reveillon, the holiday feast. One of the grandest meals of the entire year in France, it is typically served late on Christmas Eve, often following Midnight Mass. There is no single, traditional Reveillon dinner one must prepare, as the courses vary widely from region to region.
For almost 15 centuries the French have celebrated Christmas in their own unique way, which includes presenting an astounding Reveillon to old and young alike, followed by the singing of beloved Christmas songs and a time of reminiscing.
Today's recipe would be a likely appetizer with which to begin the Reveillon, and to herald an upcoming assortment of canapes, eggs mimosa, and pate. Noel has come to France, and the spirit of Christmas Eve is reflected in the loving care and preparation of the Reveillon.
To shuck the oysters, rinse the outside of oysters well, but do not scrub.
Hold a short, pointed oyster knife in one hand. Cover the other hand with a thick glove or cloth, and safely grip the shell in your palm. Insert the point of the blade next to the hinge and twist the knife to pry the shell open. Cut the muscle of the oyster from the top half and discard the top shell. Loosen the muscle from the lower shell with the knife.
Note: Shucked oysters may be kept, covered with a wet towel, in the refrigerator for up to an hour.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.