HOW TO MAKE IT A GREAT AMERICAN NEW YEAR

As one year ends and another starts, it's a great time to honor the amazing diversity of America's culinary heritage.  As an example, consider pasta which has long been a stable in the American kitchen thanks to over 200 years of immigration from the Mediterranean region of Europe.

As a result, for over a century now many have believed that Italians invented pasta, Actually, pasta was first created many, many centuries earlier in distant China. Recent archaeological discoveries in the Qinghai Province have confirmed that fact when ancient pasta found there was carbon dated to be over 4,000 years old!

Now that it's a new year, why not start the year off right and blend the cultures of Italy and China together as only America can do by adding oysters, a good luck New Year's food in both countries. Each counted ridge on the oyster shell is said to bring both chef and guest increased prosperity in the coming year. What could be better!  

The resulting Lemon Fettuccine with Fried Oysters is a great way to celebrate the New Year and thecultural diversity that has made America's culinary heritage so rich from sea to shining seas! 

Lemon Fettuccine with Fried Oysters

Ingredients

  • 1½ tbsp cornflour
  • 1½ tbsp plain flour
  • 1 lb Taylor Pacific Oysters, Shucked
  • 1 tsp reserve oyster liquid from shells
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Long shaved strip of skin from 1 lemon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (avoid the white pith)
  • 15 sprigs lemon (or regular) thyme
  • 250g fettuccine
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp baby capers (or regular capers, roughly chopped)
  • 40g basil leaves, shredded

Directions

  1. Toss the cornflour, plain flour and oysters in a bowl with half a teaspoon of salt, and set aside.
  2. Pour a third of the oil into a small saucepan.
  3. Place on a medium-high flame. 
  4. Heat and add add three or four oysters.
  5. Fry for a minute and a half.
  6. Turn once halfway through, until golden-brown on both sides. 
  7. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.
  8. Cook all remaining oysters.
  9. Discard any oil left in the pan. 
  10. Add the butter and remaining oil.
  11. Increase heat to medium.
  12. Add the garlic, lemon strip and thyme.
  13. Fry stirring constantly until the garlic is golden and lemon and thyme are crisp. 
  14. Remove off the heat.
  15. Discard the thyme.
  16. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil.
  17. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
  18. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
  19. Return the pasta to the pan with three or four tablespoons of its cooking water. 
  20. Add the oysters, oyster liquid from their shells, the infused oil, grated lemon zest and juice, capers, and white pepper to taste. 
  21. Toss.
  22. Stir in basil.
  23. Serve at once.