Oysters are one of those foods that people either love or they hate, rarely straddling the fence. My mother used to make oyster stew which is actually more of a soup. I loved it.
Michael and I always seem to find somewhere to eat oysters when we travel to the coast. The best oysters I have ever eaten were at a little campground near Gualala, CA. Michael and I were camped near a man who was selling fresh oysters and we bought some. In those days we always ate them fried, and those were the best fried oysters ever!
I have never tried raw oysters and don't ever plan to but Michael and I did try grilled oysters and we are hooked! The first time we grilled oysters we nearly burned the deck off the house. Another time we left a huge grease stain on the deck. Today we took no chances and placed the grill on a big vinyl tarp. The cooking method for grilled oysters involves high heat, hot shells, and poured butter. Care must be taken when grilling oysters but it is well worth the effort. In a previous post about grilled oysters, I shared the secret for shucking them without a trip to the E.R. Do yourself a favor and buy an oyster shucker!
I picked up two packages of fresh oysters today and we grilled them for dinner. I changed the butter sauce a bit this time and left off the hot sauce. They were loaded with Parmesan, garlicky goodness! If you love oysters try this and if you hate oysters try this. You might become and oyster lover!
- 24 fresh oysters in the shell
- 1 stick butter
- 3 large cloves garlic (finely minced or pressed)
- 1 TBS chili paste
- 3 TBS chopped fresh parsley
- 4 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Wash and scrub the oysters in cold running water, removing any sand, mud or loose shell. Place the clean oysters in a big bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use ( the same day)
- Melt the butter in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. Time varies, but mine takes about 15 seconds. Add the garlic, chili paste, cheese and pepper. Salt is not needed because the oysters are already salty.
- Heat a grill to high heat. I use propane but charcoal grilling works well too. Remove oysters from the bowl and place on the grill using tongs. Discard any oysters that are already open. You want them to be tightly closed. Place them on the grill with the bowl shaped side of the shell down. Grill the oysters until they pop open a little bit. Remove from the heat with the tongs, and use an oyster shucker to pry and twist the oyster apart. Careful, it's HOT! Shucking oysters can be dangerous so never use a sharp knife. Use heat proof gloves or potholders to handle the oysters. . Once the oyster is open, scrape the flesh away from the muscle that attaches it to the shell. Scrape off the muscle and discard if it is on the bowl shaped side of the shell. Place the oyster flesh in the bowl shaped shell and set it aside. Discard the other side of the shell.
- When all the oysters are open and ready to go, place them, in their shells, back on the grill with the tongs. Pour the butter mixture over the oysters with a spoon, dividing it equally. Continue cooking the oysters until their "liquor" has burned off, leaving just the butter and cheese. They should be lightly golden brown. Don't overcook them or they will be rubbery. Be careful when cooking the oysters with the butter. There is a lot of spitting and sputtering.
- Remove the oysters with the tongs to a serving platter. I like to serve them nestled into a bed of coarse kosher salt. Today I used Black Hawaiian salt. The salt keeps the oysters upright so you don't lose any of the delicious garlic butter.
- Enjoy piping hot with a dash of hot sauce if you like.