Oysters are the perfect ice-breaker for a romantic evening, so pull out all the stops and serve up these bad boys for some guaranteed brownie points. Show off your sophisticated shucking skills (check out the following video: jamieoliver.com/videos/how-to-shuck-oysters, if you need a bit of extra help), then throw a glass of champagne into the mix and you’ll really set the wheels in motion. Jamie Oliver
optional: sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
optional: lemon juice and/or tabasco
To open them, you’ll need an oyster knife, which is short, thick and quite blunt. Do not use a normal kitchen knife! It’s dangerous and you’ll probably snap the tip of the knife off. A screwdriver is probably a better bet if you don’t have an oyster knife.
Hold the oyster curved-side down on a chopping board with a folded kitchen cloth between the shell and your hand. This is to help you get a good grip and protect your hand.
Look for the hinge between the top shell and the bottom shell, and poke the knife tip into the crack. You need to push quite hard and work it in there but eventually you should be able to prise the top shell off. It’s not always that easy so it might be a good idea to try a few before dinner to get the hang of it. Wear an apron too in case you get a bit dirty.
When you get the oyster open, throw away the top shell. If there is any seawater in the bottom shell with the oyster, try and keep it in there. Pick out any fragments of shell and place the oyster on a plate with a mound of rock salt or crushed ice in the middle.
Season it however you like, then tip that lovely fresh oyster into your mouth!