16 oysters in the shell
8 sea urchins, or 1/2 cup sea urchin roe
1 bunch of spinach
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and white pepper
2 teaspoons fresh chives or parsley, finely chopped
Shuck the oysters into a bowl and refrigerate. Discard the shells.
Cut into the top of the sea urchins and then around the sides with
a strong pair of scissors. Carefully spoon out the orange or yellow
roe and reserve it in a small bowl in the refrigerator. If you're
serving the stew in the sea urchin shells, scrub them thoroughly
and dry them in a 200 degree oven.
Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, rinse
them in a colander under cold running water, squeeze out the excess
water and reserve.
Warm the oysters in their liquid in a saucepan over medium heat
until the liquid barely begins to simmer at the edge of the pan
and the oysters begin to curl around the edges, about 3 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the hot oysters to a clean kitchen
towel or clean napkin so any grit will pull off the oysters and
cling to the towel. Strain the oyster-cooking liquid through a fine
strainer into a clean saucepan.
Add the lemon juice and 4 tablespoons of the heavy cream to the
oyster liquid and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, until the
mixture has the consistency of cold heavy cream. Meanwhile, simmer
the remaining tablespoon of cream in a small pan until it thickens.
Season with salt and pepper and add the spinach. Stir for a minute
over medium heat to heat the spinach. Arrange the spinach in a
small mound in the center of each soup plate or sea urchin shell.
Gently stir the chives, oysters and sea urchin roe into the oyster
sauce and heat gently--without boiling--for about 30 seconds.
Arrange the oysters and roe around and over the spinach. Make sure
everyone gets 4 oysters.