Source: Mike Matas
Entertaining is one of my favorite activities of all time, but as with all hobbies, it requires lots of thinking ahead and decision-making, from planning a prep schedule to coordinating the menu. In this series, I'll present a dish and ask you to share what you'd serve alongside it.
Here's the scenario: I've heard from PartySugar about how picturesque it is to picnic at the Hog Island Oyster Company Farm, so this weekend I'll be scoping it out for myself. I'm rounding up eight close friends for an idyllic lunch, where we'll buy live oysters by the bushel and fire up the grill for barbecued bivalves. What would you serve the guests to complement the oysters? See what I'm thinking of bringing when you keep reading
Between writing about the new marketing push for Kraft Singles and Bobby Flay offering sandwich-making tips, I've had grilled cheese on the brain. I'm a particularly huge fan of Hog Island's version, as well as Party's rendition with taleggio, escarole, and onion jam. Today, I'm making a variation based on ingredients I have on hand: sweet butter, aged gruyere, and artisan Pugliese bread. What's your perfect combination?
Not only am I packing up a delicious spread of food to pair with the fresh oysters of Hog Island, but I'm also bringing a few simple decorations to transform the farm picnic area into a fabulous party zone. For example, a fabric tablecloth in a vibrant print incorporates a touch of elegance to the outdoor location. A single bouquet of tulips adds to the natural oceanside landscape.
Store thick plastic plates, plastic wine glasses, and paper napkins in a festive wicker picnic basket. Don't forget the essential tools for enjoying oysters.
Pack several shucking knives and a pretty platter for displaying the bivalves. Wrap a glass pitcher in towels and a secure in a safe spot until arriving at the picnic table. Once there, fill with the sangria and let the (half birthday) party begin!
I love the Hog Island Oyster Company - their oysters are delicious and their atmosphere spectacular. I'd love to recreate it all at home, but worry about handling, shucking and storing them. Fortunately for me, and for those of you interested in oysters, the new Hog Island Oyster Lover's Cookbook is a great primer to help us enjoy oysters at home. Starting with the history of the Hog Island Oyster Company, author Jairemarie Pomo covers everything from how to identify different oyster varieties to shucking safety & how-to. And, if that isn't enough, there's a great collection of 40 recipes - including Bobby Flay's Crispy Oysters with Mango Sauce and Red Horseradish, as well as the one for Hog Island's signature "Hogwash." To get the Hogwash recipe - and if you're not into oysters, this would actually be excellent on salads, sliced tomatoes or grilled fish - just read more