Photograph by Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero

Diamond Dogs (1974)

Abstract Oysters

Amuse-Bouche from Issue 9 – Summer 2016 – The 1970s

Diamond Dogs was first conceived as an adaptation of George Orwell’s dystopian masterwork 1984, and though the author’s widow denied formal permission, the result still has the feel of a post-apocalyptic romp captained by Bowie’s latest incarnation: real cool cat Halloween Jack pictured on the cover as a half-man, half-dog creature (the original image, a full body shot with hybrid genitals, is a collector’s item). Oysters, our favorite gender-bending food, seemed befitting. Ours, contributed by Mira Evnine and garnished with cucumber dulse mignonette or ceviche water and popped sorghum, are themselves an abstract expression.

serves enough for 12 to 18 oysters of each

Cucumber Dulse Mignonette
  • ½ Persian cucumber, minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 3 Tbsp dulse flakes (or crushed whole)
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup umeboshi vinegar
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • 12 to 18 oysters, shucked on the half shell

Ceviche Water with Popped Sorghum
  • 1 tsp neutral oil
  • 2 Tbsp whole grain sorghum
  • 1 medium tomato, quartered
  • ½ small shallot
  • ½ serrano chile, seeded
  • 6 mint leaves
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 12 to 18 oysters, shucked on the half shell

  • Cucumber Dulse Mignonette

    In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Allow to sit for at least an hour (up to a day) before serving spooned over oysters.

  • Ceviche Water with Popped Sorghum

    Heat oil in a small deep saucepan (one that has a tight-fitting lid) over medium heat.  Add sorghum and cover. Shake intermittently, until popping slows. Transfer popped sorghum to a bowl and set aside.

    In a blender, pureé tomato, shallot, chile, mint, and lime juice. Strain through a fine sieve set over a bowl and discard the pulp. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper taking into consideration how salty the oysters are by nature.

    To serve, add a spoonful of ceviche water, and garnish with popped sorghum.