Sometimes a story doesn’t end – it’s: “To be continued.”
Thus is the ongoing story about the new Owyhee.
Last week, I wrote about getting a sneak peek at the new place after Clay Carley spent about a year remodeling and restoring it to its historical original self (sans hotel). The grand opening was held July 9 for the former hotel, now in its new incarnation as an apartment building with a spacious lobby, restaurant, bar and catering service (called Kindness), and event space. (To read the story, click on this link: http://idahobusinessreview.com/2014/07/08/the-iconic-and-now-historic-owyhee-and-kindness-a-sneak-peek/)
This week, I am writing an update because there is new news to share on two fronts: 1.) The Kindness Bar’s “Oasis Bar” is opening at 5 p.m. July 16 – and the first 75 people in the door get a penthouse after-party wristband for the Owyhee Rooftop.
2.) I have received one of the most exciting recipes I’ve ever gotten and can hardly believe it: It is for Gamekeeper Oysters (or prawns as you prefer).
It all happened after Matthew Villegas commented on the sneak-peek story I wrote. He had worked at the old Owyhee and said there were two great things he got from the experience: there he met his future wife; and the recipe for Gamekeeper Oysters.
As soon as I saw that, eyes a-popping and heart skipping a beat, I emailed Matt, on a long shot, asking if he could possibly share the recipe, not daring to think he would.
He wrote back: “I would love to share this recipe with you as I feel that is what you are supposed to do when you find other people who are passionate about good food like I am.”
And when I thanked him (profusely), told him I was going to make it for my birthday (July 19) and asked him if I could share it with others, he said: “You are so very welcome! Happy birthday to you, Jeanne. And yes, you are more than welcome to share this with others.”
Saturday, I will be whipping up a batch of oysters then heading on down to the Oasis for a martini.
And I invite you to do the same!
Matt’s Take on Gamekeeper Oysters (*if you prefer prawns, just substitute)
While it’s been a good two years or so since I’ve made these, it’s pretty basic and should turn out just like you remember them. I’m going to assume this is for two people. (You’ll need) about 8-10 oysters.
1. Items you’ll want ready before you start cooking the oysters:
Room temperature softened salted real butter
About 2 cups of basic brown sauce
(For the brown sauce if you are not familiar, we just brought water to a boil in a saucepan and added beef base for flavor. Add the beef base in smaller increments as you don’t want it to be too salty. When that returns to a boil, taste it and add roux (equal parts melted butter and flour to thicken the sauce) — olive oil can be used in place of melted butter for a healthier alternative but that’s not why we are here right? Keep the brown sauce hot and set aside; should you get roux clumps you can strain them out.)
2. Next, gather the following and have set aside as the cooking process goes quick and you will want to have the following ready to go before you drop the oysters in the oil.
½ tablespoon dried dill weed
The juice of 1 lemon
2 splashes white wine (little less than ¼ cup)
1 tablespoon of minced shallots (garlic can work in place of shallots)
¼ cup of small-diced scallions or green onions
3. Next ,start your vegetable oil in a pan – 1 to 2 tablespoons, the key is to have the oil hot for the oysters to be crispy, but use caution. Dredge your oysters in seasoned flour, consisting of paprika, granulated garlic, salt, pepper and all-purpose flour. When the oil is hot shake off the excess flour and carefully drop the oysters in around the pan, so they aren’t touching, as best you can. They will only take about 1.5-2 minutes per side. Remove the oysters and set on a paper towel or something to drain. Pour off the oil as the trick is to make the sauce in the same saute pan you cooked the oysters in. Put the pan back on the heat and throw in the dill and shallots, quick shake of the pan and add the lemon juice and white wine and allow to reduce. When 1/4 of the liquid cooks off add the warm brown sauce and let simmer for 30 seconds to 1 minute until well incorporated.
Next, pull the pan off the heat and stir in the butter and scallions. Be sure to do this off the heat or the sauce could break.
Arrange the oysters on a plate and cover with the wonderful sauce you just made. Serve with lemon wedges and great sourdough bread to not leave any sauce left behind.
– Matt Villegas