Fried Oysters with Cucumbers and Pickled Pepper Mayonnaise
Yields 4 servings
Recipe from Ryan Prewitt of Pêche Seafood Grill in New Orleans
2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups white vinegar
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound hot banana peppers, sliced into rings
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Pickled Pepper Mayonnaise
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup pickled chilies, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons chile-infused vinegar
2 small cucumbers, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup mint leaves, torn
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Oil for frying
2 cups cornmeal
4 cups white flour
24 oysters, shucked, kept in their liquor
Salt and finely ground black pepper to taste
Note: Be sure to start the pickled chiles the day before you plan to make the oysters.
Make the pickled chiles: Heat the vinegars, sugar, and salt to a rolling boil. Pour over chilies and onions. Allow to sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. You will have some chiles left over to use for another purpose.
Make the pickled pepper mayonnaise: In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise with pickled peppers, garlic, and chile vinegar. Set aside.
Prepare the cucumbers: In a small bowl, combine cucumbers, onions, mint, lemon juice, salt, and sugar. Set aside at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
Fry the oysters: Heat a deep fryer or oil in a dutch oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cornmeal and flour. Remove oysters from their liquor and toss in flour mixture until completely coated. Fry oysters, in batches if necessary, until they are lightly golden brown and crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and black pepper.
Assemble: On a large platter, cover the bottom with cucumber mixture, then place fried oysters on top. Drizzle mayonnaise on top and serve.