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Michel applies his tremendous talent to creating a compendium of essential culinary techniques whilst at the same time producing an innovative collection of over 130 recipes easily achievable at home.

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Sample Recipe:

Poached oysters with mayonnaise and horseradish

Preparation

Tip the oysters and their juices into a saucepan, pour in the white wine and set over a medium heat.  As soon as the liquid comes up to a gentle simmer, no more than 80°C, turn off the heat.  The oysters will be poached in about 15 seconds.  Keep them in their juices at room temperature.

Pick the leaves off the watercress, shred them and mix with 100g mayonnaise.  Season to taste.

To serve, divide the watercress mayonnaise between the cupped oyster shells.  Drain the oysters and place them on a tea-towel to dry for a few seconds.  Put an oyster in each shell and season with half a turn of the pepper mill.

Coat the oysters with a little mayonnaise, leaving a border of watercress showing. Scatter a little grated horseradish over each oyster and lay 3 tarragon sprigs on top.  Serve on a bed of course sea salt; this not only looks good, but holds the oysters steady.

Ingredients

24 medium (size 2) rock oysters, opened

50ml dry white wine

500g watercress

250g mustardy mayonnaise

2 tblsp grated horseradish, preferably fresh

about 72 tiny tarragon sprigs

salt and freshly ground pepper

course sea salt, to serve