Happy Hour heaven. The raw oysters at Tilikum Place Cafe last week, served with horseradish granita, were an exquisite treat. Done deal, I thought. I’ll make some and regale my raw oyster-loving husband with a smashing shellfish meal. Score some points. Maybe not as good as Tilikum Place Cafe’s, but good enough. Gathered around a table with four women friends, we ordered to share and the oysters came first. The tangy horseradish granita embellished perfectly tender, succulent oysters. Consuming raw oysters is always an event, but these were exceptional, and their horseradish granita the ideal summertime accompaniment.
After seeing this post, my mixologist friend Charlie sent a link to Saveur magazine’s website where granitas were featured in the July issue. More great granita ideas.
Horseradish Granita would be good in other ways too. In a bloody Mary, with BC spot prawns, a dollop in a bowl of cool borscht or gazpacho.
And there’s Bloody Mary Granita. Summertime adult-cocktail snow cones. Hello! Put some in a glass and eat it with a spoon, or add a tablespoon to a traditional Bloody Mary and knock it out of the bloody ballpark!
Granita will keep for a few days in the freezer, and is characterized by its coarsely-grained crushed ice. Put it into containers, cover and freeze until ready to serve.
Horseradish Granita Recipe
Makes about 4 cups.
Ingredients: 1 cup coarsely grated or chopped fresh horseradish/7 T flavored rice vinegar/ 3 1/2 C water/ 1 T sugar/ pinch of salt. Cut this recipe in half, of course, if 4 cups is too much.
Directions: Place horseradish, 1 C water and vinegar in a blender/ Blender until horseradish is processed and fairly fine/ Add remaining 2 1/2 C water and pour this mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a medium-sized bowl/ Stir in sugar and salt.
Pour contents into a 8 x 12″, or similarly sized, pan/ Carefully place in a secure, level spot in the freezer/ Freeze for 1 – 2 hours/ Remove from freezer and scrape, smash and stir mixture with a fork, breaking into small icey bits/ Return to the freezer and repeat this process three more times, every 30 minutes/ Granita should be done at this point, coarse bits of ice, about like a snow cone/ Place granita in container, cover and freeze until ready to use.
If you are using already processed horseradish, from a jar: Stir 1/2 C into 1 C water and 2 T flavored rice vinegar/ Blend/ Add 1 1/2 C water, 2 t sugar/ Mix together and freeze according to recipe. This makes less, 2 cups, but plenty for an oyster feast and/or as the base for Bloody Mary granitas.
Serve horseradish granita in a bowl or in small individual bowls. Place a spoonful on a tender oyster, raw or lightly grilled. Heavenly.
The basic recipe makes about 4 cups of granita, 2 cups for serving with oysters or any shellfish, and 2 cups as a base for Bloody Mary granita (recipe below).
Bloody Mary Granita Recipe
Although I didn’t exactly follow their recipe, thank you to FoodRepublic.com for inspiration.
Make this with or without alcohol. This recipe makes four or five snow cone-like appetizers, more if used by the spoonful in traditional Bloody Mary cocktails.
Ingredients: 2 cups of the horseradish granita mixture (recipe above)/ 1 1/2 C tomato juice/ 1/2 C water/ Juice of 2 limes/ Dash of Worcestershire sauce/ 1/2 – 1 t Sriracha hot sauce/ 1/2 t garlic powder/ 2 T finely chopped chives or parsely/ Pinch salt/ 1/4 – 1/3 C vodka, more if you like. Or skip the vodka.
Directions: Follow directions above for freezing, scraping and storing granita.
Sally and Poppy are ‘gone fishin’ for the next month, summer vacation. We’ll repost some of our best summer stuff from the archives, and return in September refreshed. Happy summer dear readers.