Dressing

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped roughly

3 cloves garlic, peeled

2 teaspoons Creole or whole–grain mustard

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

1 medium shallot, minced

Pinch of salt

Slaw

1 pound Brussels sprouts

3 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2 x 1–inch pieces

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (thaw if frozen)

2/3 cup diced red bell pepper

1 jalapeño pepper, minced

Salt to taste

Oysters

24 small to medium oysters

2/3 cup masa harina

1/3 cup white rice flour

1 cup all–purpose flour

2 eggs

1 cup milk

Oil for frying

Seasoning mix

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon table salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Wilted autumn slaw with crispy oysters

Serves 6 to 8 as a first course

Make the dressing

Drop the jalapeño and garlic down the feed tube of a running food processor. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the olive oil and shallot, and process until combined. With the food processor running, drizzle the olive oil through the feed tube.

Reprocess just before serving.

Pour the dressing into a measuring cup and stir in the shallot.

Prep the sprouts

Pull the tough outer leaves off the Brussels sprouts. Cut the sprouts in half from root to end. Place a half–sprout cut–side down and slice crosswise into thin shreds, stopping when you reach the root.

Wilt the slaw

Render the bacon over medium–low heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.

Leave the pan over heat and add the shredded sprouts. Cook gently, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until tender.

Add the corn and peppers and heat through. Keep warm while frying oysters.

Prepare the oysters

Combine the masa harina and rice flour in a shallow bowl or pie pan. Put the all–purpose flour in a similar dish. Beat the eggs with the milk and put the mixture in a third dish.

Combine the seasoning mix ingredients and divide the mixture in half. Stir half into the masa mix and the other half into the all–purpose flour.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a sauté pan until the oil shimmers and thins out.

Working in batches, dredge the oysters in the all–purpose flour, dip them in the egg mixture, then roll in the masa mix.

Fry the oysters in the oil until golden brown and crispy, about 90 seconds per side.

Sprinkle with salt.

Assemble the dish

Mound about 2/3 cup of slaw on one side of a small plate. Place three oysters around the slaw. Drizzle a bit of the remaining dressing between the oysters.

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