A fresh oyster must be closed well. If it is opened, strike it: she has to close. If it is heavy, it is good sign, it means that it kept its water. At the stage of the marketing, the hollow oysters are that is calibrated, classified in categories, numbered from 0 to 5, according to their weight. Choose the calibre of oysters according to their place in your menu : we shall choose girls N°5 (so called "butterflies") for an apéritif, N ° 4 for an entrance. N°3 and 2 make the main part of the consumption. Plan 9 in 12 rooms by nobody (6 for a seafood platter). The oyster N°1 is the one big amateurs, N°0 lends itself particularly to the cooking, it is the archetypal hot oyster (6 oysters by dinner guest).
Open your oysters of Normandy the day of their tasting, at the last moment. Throw the present " first water " in the shell to the opening. Once open and emptied of this water, the still alive oyster exfiltrates in one or two minutes a more flavourful, cleansed water and very rich in nourishing elements and easily comparable mineral salts. Serve the very fresh oysters (ideally 8°C) arranged on a bed of seaweeds or cooking salt.
The oysters of Normandy preserve perfectly in their hamper of origin. Otherwise, tidy up them in dish, hollow of the shell downward and keep them in an airy and cool place (5 ° in 15 ° C) : crisper of the refrigerator, but also cellar, edge of window or balcony (by avoiding a direct exposure in the sun and the negative temperatures). So stored, they will keep all their freshness during several days.
Choose wet and brilliant mussels and watch that they are closed well. If a shell is half-opened, touch it: if it closes, the mussel is alive, should the opposite occur, throw it. At the time of preparing them, throw those of them who would be pierced or broken.
Before scratching them, begin by washing them in big water by brewing them well, then drain them. Then, brush them carefully, one by one, under a net of cold water and, by means of a knife, remove the beard which you see exceeding. Rinse in big water and drain.
Always watch to cook mussels in a big enough bowl to be able to brew them so as to obtain a homogeneous cooking. Put mussels washed in the bowl and add a little liquid (water, broth, wine, etc.). Cover and bring to boiling. Let steam a few minutes, until the shells of molds open. Switch off the fire as soon as all the mussels are opened. Those who remained closed must not be consumed.
As most of the products of the sea, mussels do not preserve for a very long time. It is recommended to cook them the same day of the purchase.