Friday, March 3, 2017

Chargrilled Oysters on the Half Shell

Freshly shucked Gulf oysters, grilled in the shell, with a lemon and garlic butter sauce, and served on an ice or rock salt covered platter with cocktail sauce, horseradish, lemon wedges and hot sauce and French bread on the side.

Chargrilled Oysters

Oysters are so common along the Gulf Coast, most folks who grew up here, eat them in some form. Most of us buy them already shucked, by the pint, quart or gallon, from our favorite seafood or grocery market. Many others, like my father in law, and like my daddy did, buy them by the sack and shuck them fresh. Sweet and salty, fresh from the Gulf - those are the absolute best oysters you will ever put in your mouth, y'all!


I love them now, but my love affair with oysters had a slow start. I would sit and watch my daddy in fascination as he sat out in the garage, sliding a blunt shucking knife under the oyster, popping it off of the shell, along with the juices, into a tall jar... and popping one into his mouth every once in awhile. He'd occasionally pass one under my nose in an effort to coax me into trying it, but I had no interest in such a thing at the time. Like most of us here, over the years they grew on me, and I've certainly had my fair share of them served raw and topless, on an ice filled tray around town.

Spring is one of the popular seasons for fresh oysters, though fall and winter probably more so, and why you see so many oyster dishes served over the year-end holidays. A lot of the older folks here along the Gulf Coast still live true to the old wives tale that you should only eat oysters in months that contain the letter "R" in them, a fallback to the days when refrigeration and spoilage were an issue. There is a bit of truth there in that those "R" months though. Although these days oysters are also farmed and pretty much available year-round, those "R" months, just happen to be when our Gulf oysters are abundant and at their peak flavor.


While every once in awhile, I still indulge in a platter of them raw, I don't do that very often now, but I sure do love them fried, and I especially love them on a po'boy. Chargrilled is another way I really enjoy them, and with Lent upon us, I thought it'd be a good time to share my method, though it's a fairly standard preparation down here along the Gulf Coast. Here's how I make them.

Shuck oysters, selecting 12 larger ones, that are all roughly the same size. Using heavy gloves and a blunt oyster knife, pry open shell and loosen oyster from the bottom, but leave the oyster on the bottom shell, along with juices. Check for any loose shell and set aside. Pour rock salt into a rimmed platter, placing a small ramekin of cocktail sauce and horseradish in the center; set aside.


Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and cook for about 3 minutes or until garlic is tender, stirring regularly to prevent garlic from burning. Add remaining ingredients, except for the lemon juice and parsley, and cook until green onion is wilted. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and parsley and set aside to cool.


Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Carefully place oysters, in their shell, on the grill and cook until natural juices begin to bubble. Spoon pan sauce on each oyster, taking care with flareups - while desirable to "char" the oysters, they can still burn you - and let cook until oyster begins to curl up around the edges - time will depend on the size of the oysters and heat level on grill.


Use tongs to carefully transfer oysters to the prepared platter, centering in the rock salt to prevent spilling the sauce. Allow to rest for shells to cool off. Spoon additional sauce over each oyster and put any remaining butter sauce in a shallow bowl for dipping. Garnish with reserved green onion and parsley. Scatter wedges of lemon among the oysters and serve with hot French bread to sop up the sauce.


Now I do realize that not everybody is going to buy a sack of oysters to shuck, but don't fret. If you live someplace like here, you can ask your favorite seafood restaurant for a dozen. They can be sanitized and reused many times. If you don't have access to that, stainless steel reusable shells, like these from Schwing, or other reusable and disposable shells are usually available at your favorite kitchen store. Any of those work perfectly fine, as will as these Oysterman's Grillers that my daughter in law gifted me.


Unfortunately I received them after I'd already styled and photographed this post, but they're beautiful, I love them and I can't wait to get them on the grill! They're from Wortman Pottery and she picked them up at Hillyer, a local gift shop in downtown Ocean Springs, across the bridge from Biloxi. If you don't live here on the Gulf Coast, you may be able to find them at a gift shop near you, or check availability on their Etsy site. These are ceramic, and made for use on both the grill and oven, but they also have "Oysterman's Bakers" available that are made of a standard stoneware clay, strictly for oven use.


Oh my gracious y'all, these are so good! For more of my favorite seafood recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!



If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!



Yum

Recipe: Chargrilled Oysters

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 10 min | Yield: About 3 to 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 12 freshly shucked oysters, reserve bottom shell
  • Rock salt, horseradish, cocktail sauce and lemon wedges for the tray
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 green onion, sliced, set aside a pinch for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Instructions

Shuck oysters, selecting 12 larger ones, that are all roughly the same size. Using heavy gloves and a blunt oyster knife, pry open shell and loosen oyster from the bottom, but leave the oyster on the bottom shell, along with juices. Check for any loose shell and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; add garlic and cook for about 3 minutes or until garlic is tender, stirring regularly to prevent garlic from burning. Add remaining ingredients, except for the lemon juice and parsley, and cook until green onion is wilted. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and parsley and set aside to cool.

Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Carefully place oysters, in their shell, on the grill and cook until natural juices begin to bubble. Spoon pan sauce on each oyster, taking care with flareups - while desirable to "char" the oysters, they can still burn you - and let cook until oyster begins to curl up around the edges - time will depend on the size of the oysters and heat level on grill.

Use tongs to carefully transfer oysters to the prepared platter, centering in the rock salt to prevent spilling the sauce. Allow to rest for shells to cool off. Spoon additional sauce over each oyster and put any remaining butter sauce in a shallow bowl for dipping. Garnish with reserved green onion and parsley. Scatter wedges of lemon among the oysters and serve with hot French bread to sop up the sauce.

Cook's Notes: Sprinkle a bit of Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese blend on each oyster after removing from the grill, if desired. If you don't have oyster shells, there are various types of disposable or reusable oyster molds available, that can be used instead.

Oven Broiled: Prepare platter, cocktail sauce and butter garlic sauce as above. Place a single oyster in individual ramekins on a baking sheet, or fill baking sheet with a shallow layer of rock salt, and place oyster shells on top. Preheat broiler with rack about 6 inches from top. Spoon butter sauce over top of each oyster and broil about 5 to 7 minutes, depending on size, or until edges of oysters begin to curl. Remove and spoon sauce over the top. Not recommended for very small oysters.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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Posted by on March 3, 2016

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Photo credits: Single oyster gulfseafoodnews.com; oyster boat sunherald.com
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1 comment:

  1. I got one of those shells when we were at the World Food Championships in Orange Beach. Gulf seafood is the best in my book!

    ReplyDelete

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