Oyster and Shrimp Fricassee

A delicately flavoured dish, Oyster Shrimp Fricassee makes an excellent main course for a dinner party. Serve with rice, sauteed mushrooms and brown bread and, to drink, some well-chilled dry white wine such as Pouilly Fuisse.

24 fresh oysters, shelled and with the oyster liquid reserved juice of

1 lemon

2 oz. butter

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped garlic clove, crushed

1 fl. oz. dry white wine

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 lb. shrimps, shelled

10 fl. oz. single cream

1 tablespoon beurre manie

Place the oysters in a medium-sized mixing bowl and sprinkle over the lemon juice. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Remove the oysters from the marinade and pat dry on kitchen paper towels. Set aside. Discard the lemon juice.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.

Pour in the wine and reserved oyster liquid and stir in the salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring the liquid to the boil, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the shrimps and cook the mix-ture for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the oysters and cream. Cook for 3 minutes or until the mixture is hot but not boiling and the oysters are beginning to curl at the edges.

Stir in the beurre manie, a small piece at a time, and cook for a further 1 minute or until the sauce has thickened.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a warmed serving dish. Serve at once.

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