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Fried Oyster Salad

Photo courtesy of California Table Grape Commission
From: Bistro 217 Pawleys Island, SC. Yield: 4 servings.

Candied Walnuts:
½ lb. walnuts
¼ lb. brown sugar
¼ cup melted unsalted butter
¼ cup water
to taste, salt and pepper

Poached Pears:
3 cups red wine
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 firm ripe Bartlett pears, peeled

Champagne Herb Vinaigrette:
2½ cups salad oil
1 cup champagne vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 cup chopped herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley or chef’s favorites)
to taste, salt and pepper

Fried Oysters:
as needed, oil for frying
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. salt
2 whole eggs
1 cup milk
16 oysters, shucked
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 romaine hearts, chopped
1 cup sliced red seedless grapes

For candied walnuts: Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread on sheet pan. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool (do not refrigerate).

For poached pears: In a large saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Thinly slice pears.

For champagne herb vinaigrette: Whisk together all ingredients and refrigerate until needed (vinaigrette will last for 2 weeks).

For fried oysters: Heat oil to 325 °F. Whisk together dry ingredients in large bowl. In another bowl, whisk eggs into milk. Dip oysters in dry ingredients, then into egg wash and back into dry ingredients. Fry until golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve: Toss romaine, 1 cup sliced pears, 2 cups walnuts and the grapes with ¾ cup to 1 cup vinaigrette. Divide salad between 4 plates. Sprinkle with blue cheese and place 4 oysters on each plate.

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