Nothing brings the glitz and glamour to a holiday party like freshly shucked oysters on ice. In this episode of Food Network Canada Chef School, Chef Michael Smith gives the ultimate cocktail party snack the Bloody Mary treatment with a spicy, lemony, white wine-spiked tomato ice. This savoury, granita-style topper adds a bold hit of flavour and a vibrant red hue to your platter – it definitely says, festive!

 

The first step is the spicy tomato ice, which needs to be prepared in advance, giving it ample time to freeze. The takeaway here is added sugar, which stops the tomato mixture from fully freezing. Natural sugars found in the white wine (he’s pretty casual about the variety of wine here, recommending to use what you’re drinking) also contribute to a slushier ice, which means smooth sailing come show time. And, for the requisite spicy element, Chef Michael Smith adds his go-to hot sauce. Combined with the natural, briny liquor (juice) found in the oysters, the combination positively sings on the palate.

This recipe, which Chef Michael Smith serves at his celebrated The Inn at Bay Fortune restaurant, uses Colville Bay oysters, a local variety from PEI with the great, big taste of the salty sea nearby. But, you can make it right at home, wherever you’re located, with his tips and tricks for safe shucking. Here, he shows you how to do it like a true PEI pro.

 

Easy, right? If you can’t find Colville Bay oysters, don’t fret; there are many more varieties from Prince Edward Island with a flavour, texture and appearance that will match your vibrant tomato ice. Try Pickle Point, Raspberry Point, Malpeque, Bedeque Bay or Summerside appellations, which all harbour delicious PEI oysters, too.

And forget plates. Oysters bring their own vessel, which adds a rustic, seaside touch to your festive spread. Be sure to keep these morsels on a bed of ice to keep your oysters ice-cold and the granita fresh.

Of course, one of the best parts of eating oysters is slurping them back, which always gets the conversation started! Treat your friends and family to this recipe for Chef Michael Smith’s Oysters with Spicy Tomato Ice.

Need more inspiration for your holiday entertaining? Try Lynn Crawford’s Seafood Risotto or Mark McEwan’s Ricotta Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce. Finish off your holiday dinner with Roger Mooking’s elegant Cookies and Cream Napoleons.