Shucking Oysters Made Easy

Oysters on the half shell, by their very nature, make a meal special.

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They are always a novelty and can be presented in a variety of fun and festive ways. The real oyster lover might own oyster plates with six oyster-shaped depressions on which to place each half oyster. There are even delicate little silver oyster forks that facilitate plucking the oyster from its shell. For those who don't own oyster-specific tableware, crushed ice or shaved cabbage both make pretty beds on which to serve the delectable mollusks.

Follow these steps to make our Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette Sauce:

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Instructions:

1. Place a folded towel under the oyster. This keeps the oyster from slipping while you're opening it. Using a strong-bladed oyster knife, insert the knife tip into the hinge between the shells.

2. Twisting the blade to pry open the oyster, move the blade along the inside of the upper shell to free the muscle from the shell.

3. Remove and discard the top shell of the oyster. Slide the knife under the oyster to sever the muscle from the bottom shell. Use this shell for serving the oyster on the half shell.

4. Remove the oyster. Set aside. Hold the bottom shell under cold running water to rinse out the grit. If the oyster is gritty, hold sideways and quickly rinse under cold running water. Immediately replace the oyster in its shell.

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