We asked Georgia East to create a Christmas recipe for us, using the Krone Borealis Vintage Cuvée Brut as her inspiration.
Georgia is a cook, writer and photographer. A self-taught photographer and food stylist, Georgia has shot numerous campaigns, menu imagery and social media content for brands and projects. She has also just published her cookbook in 2019, titled, West Coast Wander.
Confessing to having the diet of a seal, Georgia spends her time between Cape Town and Velddrif on the West Coast where she is still acquiring a taste for bokkoms. “Because you know what they say – if you don’t like fish, try a little harder,” shares Georgia.
Plump oysters from Saldanha Bay on the Cape West Coast are delicious when cooked over the coals. Taking on a smoky flavour, the umami appeal of the molluscs is increased with a brushing of bokkom butter infused with coastal sage.
When cooking oysters over open flame, one can choose to shuck them or leave them intact – essentially poaching the oysters in their liquid. Once cooked, the lid of the shell will pop open. Here I’ve used shucked oysters, covering them with a large metal dish to smoke them before brushing with the bokkom butter.
If bokkoms or coastal sage (Salvia aurea) are tricky to acquire, one can replace the grated bokkom in the recipe for two brown anchovy fillets and regular sage can replace the coastal sage.
Redolent of citrus and oyster shell minerality, Krone Borealis Vintage Cuvée Brut makes the ideal accompaniment to this dish – tempering the richness of the butter whilst not detracting from the subtle oceanic sapidity of the oysters.
12 fresh Saldanha Bay oysters, shucked
1 large sprig of coastal sage, leaves finely chopped
5ml finely grated bokkom
Combine the sage, butter and bokkom in a fireproof saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium to hot coals and stir until the butter has melted. Arrange the oysters on a grid over the coals, making sure to balance them so they face upwards. Cover the oysters with a large metal or enamel dish and smoke them for 4 minutes. Remove the dish and brush each oyster with the bokkom butter. Replace the lid for a further 2-3 minutes before removing the oysters from the fire and plating them on a bed of rock salt.
Serve the oysters as a snack with chilled Krone Borealis Vintage Cuvée Brut.