• Oysters on the Half Shell


In this episode of Wild Game Kitchen, I’m demystifying cooking clams, mussels and oysters—all three incredible, sustainable seafood options that are fun to forage. First up, chef Zimmern cooks a pot of creamy clam chowder with a fortified clam broth. Then, he shares a simple but impressive recipe for mussels fra diavolo—mussels cooked in a spicy tomato broth—served with lots of grilled bread to mop up the sauce. And finally, a classic way to enjoy oysters—raw with homemade mignonette and cocktail sauce.


First, place the oyster in a kitchen towel and lay it firmly on the counter, this is easier for beginners and will help protect your hands. Then, drive the point of an oyster knife into the hinge, and twist to pop open the shell. Run the knife along the top shell to release the oyster, then along the bottom, making sure the oyster floats freely. Have a plate or a bowl filled with crushed ice ready to place your shucked oysters on as you go. Serve with my mignonette sauce and cocktail sauce.

Mignonette Sauce

  • 1 beet, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon dried Andrew Zimmern Shallot-Citrus spice blend or dried tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt

Peel and grate the beet on the coarse side of a box grater.

In a small saucepan, bring the grated beets and red wine to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes at a bare simmer, then pull from heat. Add the sugar and stir. Allow to cool. Strain into a mixing bowl through a fine sieve.

Stir in the minced shallots, the spice blend, crushed pink peppercorns and red wine vinegar. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate overnight and utilize with the freshly shucked oysters.

Cocktail Sauce

  • 1/2 pound horseradish root
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • Salt

First, trim and peel the horseradish root. Grate on the coarse side of a box grater or fine grating attachment on the food processor.

Transfer to a food processor fitted with the conventional blade along with the white vinegar and pulse until finely minced and well combined. Season with salt. Reserve 1/4 cup for the cocktail sauce, and place the remaining prepared horseradish in the fridge for future use.

In a mixing bowl, combine the Heinz Chili Sauce with 1/4 cup prepared horseradish and lemon juice. Mix well. Taste the cocktail sauce, adding salt and more lemon juice if necessary.

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