Buttermilk Fried Oysters with Caper Aioli

Makes 1 dozen | Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 15 minutes


For the Buttermilk Fried Oysters:

12 medium sized oysters
1/2 cup buttermilk
pinch of salt
several dashes Tabasco
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Caper Aioli:
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons capers, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon caper juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Make the Buttermilk Fried Oysters

Shuck the oysters and discard the shells. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, salt and Tabasco. Marinate the oysters in the buttermilk bath for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Preheat the oil in your deep fryer or deep sided sauté pan to 350 degrees F.

Remove each oyster one at a time and let the excess buttermilk drip off, then dredge in the flour mixture. Place in the hot oil, and working in batches, let it the oysters fry for about 1 minute per side, until they are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the oysters and set it on a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool slightly.

Make the Caper Aioli:

Peel and mash the garlic along with the salt, finely mincing and pressing with the side of the knife to create a paste. Place the garlic in a small bowl, season with some freshly cracked black pepper and whisk in the egg yolk until it is creamy. As you whisk, begin to add the olive oil gradually: begin with just a few drops of olive oil, fully whisking until the yolks thicken and emulsify. Continue adding the olive oil in drops, then in a very slow stream, continually whisking. It should be thick and very creamy. Stir in the capers, cilantro, and caper juice, and season with cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, to taste. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This can be done a few days in advance.

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