All the Ways to Get Your Oyster Fix On
LET’S VISIT SOME OYSTER FARMS, WORK WITH THE LOCALS DURING HARVESTING AND STAY FOR LUNCH OR DINNER.
-SO MUCH FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY-
-Oyster Farming 101-
Hatching Baby Oysters
The life of an Oyster starts in the early spring in a Hatchery, which sits in warehouses on the shores of US eastern coast bays. While most oyster farms buy generalist seed that’s good for their region.
Did you hear that? Oysters come from seeds.
Some farms grow oysters specifically bred by them to flourish in the bay waters. There’s only a dozen or hatcheries like this in the United States.
The local delicacy, Lynnhaven oysters, were renowned by English settlers in the 1600s for their taste and being as big as dinner plates. After disappearing in the 1960s when the Lynnhaven River was temporarily closed to harvesting, they’ve made a healthy comeback over the last decade.
In general, the state is so famous for oysters it boasts eight distinct flavor regions. The governor declared November Virginia Oyster Month. But you can enjoy these tasty bivalves year-round in Virginia Beach with a host of ways to satisfy your craving. Follow this guide and you’ll be eating oysters for breakfast, eating them fried, or eating them fresh from the water. Don’t forget your your oyster knife, it’s an entirely different experience to shuck them straight from the sea.
Our First Stop Is
The Pleasure House Oyster Farm
In Virginia Beach, Virginia
The Pleasure House Oyster Farm takes mollusk-enthused visitors on a boat tour down the Lynnhaven River to see how the oysters are farmed and allows for generous sampling of these salty-zingy treasures along the way.
The four-hour Waterman Tour is the most hands-on excursion offered, where true aficionados can slip on some gear and get knee-deep in the water to gather bi-valves from the depths.
Delight Your Senses Aboard an Oyster Farm Tour!
Whether you’ve already experienced a legendary Lynnhaven Oyster or have yet to take your first slurp, Pleasure House Oysters will delight your senses as you set out on the Lynnhaven River for an on-the-water experience unlike any other. See how Lynnhaven Oysters are harvested, all while snacking along the journey.
They offer 3 boat tours that are equally as entertaining as they are educational, providing a behind-the-scenes look through various oyster farms along the Lynnhaven River.
CHEF’S TABLE TOUR
This is a dining experience you won’t forget, as you stand in waders knees-deep in the Lynnhaven River at a table set up directly in the water at the oyster farm.
This three- to four-hour dining experience begins with a boat ride to the Pleasure House Oysters Farm, where you’ll enjoy lunch or dinner with a significant other or up to a party of seven dining on Oysters pulled from the water beneath you. Guests are encouraged to bring their own bottle of beer or wine!
In between bites, explore the oyster farm, handle gear, pick up oysters and learn about the wildlife, waterways and natural surroundings that give the Lynnhaven Oyster its coveted and distinct flavor.
137.50 / person. Tax included. Minimum 2 people.
Tailored for up to 14 people.
Learn about life on and in the Lynnhaven River and enjoy Pleasure House Oysters with your group while on the water.
49.50 / person up to 14 people. Tax included. Minimum 4 people.
For those looking for a more hands-on experience, the Waterman Tour includes the Tasting Tour plus the opportunity to get in the Lynnhaven.
Sport some water shoes and get knees-deep in the Lynnhaven River, while exploring the farm, handling gear and picking up oysters as well as crabs, eels and fish pots, when in season.
82.50 / person up to 14 people. Tax included. Minimum 4 people.
Aa an award-winning, boutique oyster farm, their mission is to produce one of Maine’s best oysters and have a positive impact on the local community.
They are located within a nature conservancy at Nonesuch Point in Scarborough, Maine, just south of Portland. The Scarborough River boasts a Grade A water classification due to its “outstanding natural resource waters.” That’s why they have such great-tasting, and healthy oysters!
Already among Maine’s favorites, Nonesuch free range oysters are gaining recognition nationwide for their beautiful color, hard shell and bright, fresh, salty-sweet taste with hints of sea grass.
Nonesuch Oysters have been showcased on the menu at New York’s celebrated James Beard House and at Grand Central Oyster Bar.
The Belon, otherwise known as the european flat or oestra edulis is considered one of the world’s most desirable oysters, no doubt due to its bold brininess, with what the French call a «noisette», or hazelnut, finish. They have quantities of Belons available to share with the lucky participants of their oyster tours.
The Abigail Pearls are raised in gear off the bottom of the waters and produce a smooth, delicate meat and an often snow white shell. Taste-wise they offer a similar estuarial mix of salt and sweetness but with more pronounced brine and distinct notes of sea-grass.
The classic Nonesuch Emeralds are finished, free range, on the bottom of the riverbed where they develop great shell consistency and a hearty rich meat with distinctive brown edges. Estuarial oysters, have a fantastic balance of brine and sweetness with hints of earth. All oysters raised on the bottom are purged on the water’s surface for several days before taken to market to ensure a super clean oyster.
Oysters are the perfect embodiment of where it’s been grown. It’s all about the terroir, surrounded by a watery wilderness of nutrient-rich saltmarshes and vast mudflats, fed by the fresh waters of Scarborough and Nonesuch rivers, and cleansed by the constant ebb and flow of the open ocean tides.
Sign up for the Nonesuch Oyster Farm tour, which begins at the docks, where the owner Carroll keeps her seedlings growing in underwater cages. It’s a tough business, when seeded yearly expect to lose up to 50 percent of the crop by start of harvesting season. Today, Nonesuch also offers a line of sea-based skin products.
The oyster farm is set up on a grid pattern, lines of bags stretching across some six acres of water. Buoys are named after New York City parks, Each line is named after a superhero. When taking the tour you may pass the Catwoman and Batman lines, drifting among the sand bars, along the other strings of bags and bins. When the oysters are ready to harvest, typically after three years, they’re stored in floating gray bins, each containing about 300 oysters.
On average Nonesuch harvests 6,000-12,000 oysters a week from these bins, depending on the season, which are then sold to local distributors. Most end up at top restaurants throughout the Northeast.
Ed Jacobs, our captain tied up to a line and scooped a bucket of fresh, ready-to-eat oysters. He demonstrated the proper shucking technique.
Beer and wine are allowed on these tours. they pair well with these delicious oysters. Thick, delicate meat, not too briny, fresh and tender, and eat as many as we want.
Slowly you will be motored back to the dock, surrounded now by acres of newly-exposed mudflats.
The tide was receding. No wonder those oysters were so sweet. For more information, contact Nonesuch Oysters,
www.nonesuchoysters.com. Tours are about 1½ hours, $65 per person.
COUNT ME IN! LET’S GO…
SEA LIFE® Scarborough Tours Discover an underwater world filled with an array of marine creatures at SEA LIFE® Scarborough.
From a face-to-face encounter with sharks to a hands-on rock-pool experience, each step reveals something fascinating, making for a fun and educational activities for all ages, whatever the weather. The Basics Visitors to SEA LIFE Scarborough embark on a journey from the coastline to the depths of the ocean through 12 themed zones, both inside and outdoors.
Observe penguins in their walk-through home, Penguin Island; visit the Turtle Rescue Centre and learn how turtles are rescued, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild; watch sharks, tropical fish, and a loggerhead turtle swim overhead in the Ocean Tunnel; meet sea stars and crabs in the interactive rockpool experience; and much more.
Things to Know Before You Go SEA LIFE Scarborough is a must-visit for families and animal lovers. The aquarium is fully wheelchair-accessible. There is a café on site, as well as picnic tables for those who bring their own food. Children’s play areas include a miniature golf course and adventure playground. How to Get There SEA LIFE Scarborough is located on the North Bay of Scarborough, a short walk from Scalby Mills Road, where you will find free, all-day parking.
From Scarborough Railway Station, you can catch bus 3A, which stops near the center. When to Get There SEA LIFE Scarborough is open seven days a week (except December 25 and 26), from late morning until late afternoon/early evening. During weekends and holiday periods, there may be a wait time to enter, especially during the aquarium’s busiest hours: 11 am to 3pm. Prebooking is advisable, as guests with prebooked tickets are guaranteed entry. Seal Hospital
The aquarium is home to Yorkshire’s only seal hospital, where every year more than 50 injured seal pups are nursed back to health so they can safely be returned to the wild. Visitors can see the current patients recovering in the Seal Hospital and watch them splash around in the rehabilitation pool.
ABOUT $12 PER TICKET AND WORTH EVERY PENNY
-The Funds Go To Saving These Wonderful Creatures-
Now Let’s Visit Island Creek Oysters’ Duxbury Farm Debuts a Waterfront Raw Bar
Address: 403-7 Washington St, Duxbury, MA 02332
The scenic patio is now open with native shellfish, tinned fish, local craft beer, and more.
Oyster lovers can find Duxbury-grown Island oysters on menus from Boston to the Bay Area, but for the first time, now they can also slurp right at the source.
The open-air bar repurposed a former Clover food truck to prepare icy trays of oysters and clams on the half-shell, shrimp cocktail, and tinned fish platters, as well as caviar accompaniments. It has six draft lines pouring craft beer from the South Shore, Boston, and Rhode Island; plus two draft wines and other by-the-glass and bottles options, including large-format rosé. There are also a handful of canned cocktails.
“Island Creek is this strange manifestation of Duxbury’s maritime economy and its history, dating all the way back to the Pilgrims, and it’s an incredible contemporary version of it we’re living every day.
The oyster farm which also grows some clams, is once again located about an hour south of Boston. It has since grown into one of the world’s most recognizable bivalve brands. It maintains aquaculture operations in Duxbury Bay, and has a distribution arm that partners with other small-scale aquaculture farmers to sell seafood directly to chefs. Nearly 12 million Island Creek Oysters are sold around the world every year, the company reports.
LET’S STAY IN MASSACHUSETTS
Chatham Massachusetts lies on the elbow of Cape Cod. The influence of the cold rich waters of the north Atlantic to the east and the waters of Nantucket Sound to the south and west results in a generously rich environment of fish and shellfish habitat. Chatham Shellfish Company has the fortune of cultivating oysters in its environs to produce Cape Cods most desirable oysters.
This farm was established in 1987 by the work of a dedicated marine biologist who believed that the only way to grow an oyster was to grow a great one. It took many years of trial and error, but by obtaining some of the most ideal growing areas on the Damariscotta River it appears she discovered the simple formula: Place + Practice = a premium oyster.
Raw or Cooked, You’ll Crave Oysters After You See These 15 Scrumptious Recipes
Now that your mouth is probably already watering, we’ll stop talking oyster farming and start talking recipes. From the classic Oyster Rockefeller to a cheesy gratin, here are the most delectable ways to prepare some freshly shucked raw oysters.
Oysters Rockefeller is a classic oyster recipe. Created in New Orleans in the 1800s, the original recipe was supposedly so rich is was named after John D. Rockefeller.
While we may not have the exact original recipe, if you have spinach, butter, parmesan, Pernod, and of course oysters, then you can make this savory recipe.
12 fresh oysters, shucked
2 tbsp salted butter
1 small shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Pernod
1 cup heavy cream
4 cups spinach, rough chopped
salt & pepper to taste
3/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
Arrange shucked oysters on a baking tray while you prepare the topping.
In a medium skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until translucent.
Turn off the flame and add the Pernod. Turn the heat back on and simmer until most of the alcohol is evaporated. (If you’re feeling bold you can flambe it, but stay safe!)
Next add the heavy cream. Simmer until it is reduced to about 1/2 cup and is thickened.
Toss in the spinach and cook until wilted.
Add about 1/3 cup of the grated cheese.
Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture over each oyster.
Top with the remaining cheese.
Turn your broiler to low heat. Broil for about 3 minutes until cheese is browned and the oysters are cooked through.
What better to pair with your oyster crackers than an oyster stew! Perfect for a chilly day, this easy creamy oyster stew has a handful of spices, sauteed onion, garlic, parsley, milk, and oysters all in one warming, flavorful bowl.
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cups whole milk or half and half
1 teaspoon dried parsley
16 ounces fresh raw oysters, undrained
Heat butter over medium heat in heavy bottom 3-quart saucepan. Add diced onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Grate in garlic (or mince), continue to saute for another 1-2 minutes, being watchful to not burn garlic. Add red pepper, paprika, salt, black pepper, stir to toast about 1 minute.
Drain oysters and reserve liquid (oyster liqueur).
Reduce heat to low, add milk, parsley and oyster liqueur.
Cook over low heat until mixture is hot and beginning to steam, and bubbles just start to appear around the edge.
Do NOT allow to come to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add oysters and continue to cook over low heat until oysters begin to curl on edges.
Chef’s Note: If you can’t get fresh oysters, opt for oysters packed in water, not smoked.
Buffalo Fried Oysters
Fan of buffalo wings?
Try these Buffalo Fried Oysters. Oysters are marinated in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, battered, fried, then topped with Frank’s butter sauce.
A stunning appetizer, Buffalo Fried Oysters are a unique twist to the classic Buffalo wing.
Excerpted from Cooking with Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (2014 Ulysses Press) by Rachel Rappaport
2 cups shucked raw “frying size” oysters
1/2 cup FRANK’S RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup flour
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
canola oil, for frying
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
20 oyster shell halves
POUR the oysters into a small bowl Add 1/4 cup Frank’s RedHot. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
MEANWHILE, pour the eggs, flour, and bread crumbs into 3 separate shallow bowls. Stir the spices into the bread crumbs. Set aside.
HEAT about 1/2 inch oil in a large, shallow skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge each oyster in the flour, then the eggs, then the seasoned bread crumbs, taking care to thoroughly coat the oyster on all sides. Gently place the oysters one at a time in the hot oil. Cook until golden on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Remove the drained oysters to a shallow medium bowl.
WHISK the remaining Frank’s RedHot sauce, butter, and agave nectar together in a small bowl. Drizzle over the oysters. Gently toss to coat.
PLACE each oyster on a shell and garnish with a dollop of blue cheese dressing. Serve immediately.
SOUTHERN FRIED OYSTERS
The trick to getting fried oysters just right is to use fresh oysters and frying oil that’s up to temp. The trick to the best Southern fried oysters recipe is right here. I won’t give away all the secrets, but you’ll need some buttermilk and some Creole seasoning. Crispy on the outside, tender on this inside, this is how to fry the best oysters.
16 oz Oysters Everywhere sells them a little different, that’s OK, the flouring mix works for all amounts
2 Cups “Cake” Flour Magic Ingredient – Or Use 2/3 AP Flour & 1/3 Corn Starch
2 Cups Cornmeal
1 T Creole Seasoning Tony’s or Ol Bay or to taste
1 T Garlic Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Dried Oregano Crush in the palm of your hand to release the natural oils
1 tsp Dried Thyme Crush in the palm of your hand to release the natural oils
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
Salt To Your Taste
1 Cup Buttermilk or Whole Milk
2 T Hot SauceIn Refrigerator for 30-40 minutes
Mix all dry ingredients in a clean bowl.
Chef Tip: Taste the flour mixture. Does it taste too much like flour? Add more seasoning based on what you think it needs. You can always cook a small test batch and then adjust. the seasoning. This is how restaurant chefs balance out dishes. Test, Test Test…
Of course, we can’t talk oysters without also including a satiating Po’boy recipe in the mix. While there are several ways you can doctor up your Po’Boy, you haven’t had one quite like this. A crusty ciabatta piled high with cornmeal fried oysters, spinach, and a spicy Thai basil tartar sauce make for a Taiwanese street style inspired Po’Boy sandwich that is to die for.
TAIPEI OYSTER PO’BOY
Oh it’s Too-much-life Day. So lucky for you, you can be left alone with this salivating monstrosity without me breathing down your neck. Plus, you can’t possibly need introduction to this? OK, well fine…
There are things, overrated things out there that I just don’t get, unless, it’s made exactly the way I think it ought to. And this thing called the oyster po’boy is exactly that. I mean please, lettuce? Tomatoes? Things that have no business in the purity of what a fried oyster sandwich should have. Now, lobster roll would never subject itself to that kind of insult, would it? For a great, truly great oyster po’boy, all it’ll ever need are three things:
- A pile of sky-high, jacked up fried oysters with a meticulously curated breading, then tossed together with minced garlic, crispy Thai basils and a nostril-clearing dust of ground white/black pepper. An inspiration drew from the beloved Taiwanese street-style fried oysters.
- A kick-ass tartar sauce, a symphony of flavours sung by the tartness of capers, spiciness of pickled jalapeño, saltiness of mashed anchovies and a kick from minced shallots and Dijon mustard. Then listen to this, chopped hard-boiled egg. That’s right. This Frank Stitt guy knows what.
- A trusty, crusty submarine as the designated vehicle to drive it all home.
OH yeah, you’ve never had oyster po’boy like this, and you’re never going back afterward. Now I’ll see myself out so you can have some privacy with it.
BACON-WRAPPED SMOKED OYSTERS
Everything tastes better, even oysters wrapped in bacon. The ultimate bite of surf and turf, wrap the smoked oysters with a strip of bacon, bake them with a soy marinade, then serve these up to your patiently waiting guests.
Get the recipe here.
THREE CHEESE OYSTER GRATIN
You have not had gratin until you’ve tried this Three Cheese Oyster Gratin. A recipe designed to impress guests, this gratin is layered with a dry white wine infused three-cheese sauce and fresh oysters. Grab a loaf of crusty bread, because everyone will want to dive right in.
8~10 large shucked oysters
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) dry white wine
3/4 cup (75 grams) shredded white cheddar
3/4 cup (75 grams) shredded gruyere
1 clove garlic, grated
1/3 tsp sea salt, plus more to adjust
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more to top
Freshly grated Parmigiano cheese to top
Rinse and clean the oysters to get rid of any impurities, gently dab dry, then set aside. In a pot over medium heat, melt the unsalted butter then cook the flour for 1 min. Whisk in the whole milk and dry white wine, and continue whisking until the mixture comes to a simmer and has fully thickened, then keep cooking for 5~6 min until reduced slightly and the alcohol has evaporated. Turn off the heat, then add the shredded white cheddar, shredded gruyere, grated garlic, sea salt, ground black pepper, ground white pepper and freshly grated nutmeg, and stir with a fork until the cheese has fully melted (taste and re-season with sea salt if needed).
Preheat the top broiler on high. In a shallow oven-proof skillet, spread 1/2 of the cheese sauce on the bottom, then arrange the oysters evenly and cover with the rest of the cheese sauce. Grate enough Parmigiano cheese to entirely cover the surface, then scatter a few extra nubs of unsalted butter here and there. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 13~15 min, until it’s bubbly and golden browned. Grate another generous pinch of fresh nutmeg over the top (do not be shy with the nutmeg!), then serve immediately with crusty sourdough.
BROILED GULF OYSTERS IN A GARLIC BUTTER HERB GRATIN
Of course, if a whole gratin is too much you can make these delectable single-serving gratin topped oysters instead. A crumbly gratin topping made of breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, garlic, and parmesan tops the oyster with melted butter then is all broiled to crisp perfection.
6 tbs butter
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp lemon juice (Or a vinegar-y hot sauce like Tabasco)
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 dozen shucked Gulf oysters
Preheat the broiler and place oven rack about 3 inches from the top of the oven. Put a layer of rock salt or rice at the bottom of a baking dish to create something for the oysters to rest on without spilling.
Toss the breadcrumbs with the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, pepper, Parmesan, and Worcestershire sauce. Melt the butter then pour it over the mix and toss.
Divide the breadcrumb mixture evenly between the oysters, then transfer them to the prepared baking dish.
Broil until crumbs are golden and the edges of the oysters begin to curl, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Serve warm with lemon wedges and enjoy!
CHARGRILLED OYSTERS ON A HALF SHELL
Feeling a little New Orleans fare? Try these Chargrilled Oysters on a Half Shell. Packed with a whirlwind of flavor, they’re smoky, buttery, garlicky, lemony, cheesy, and everything yummy about eating cooked oysters.
Oysters on the half shell done NOLA style, filled with a lemony, garlicky, butter sauce that are topped with cheese and chargrilled until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown. (Serve with crusty bread to soak up all of that buttery saucy goodness!)
1 stick butter, room temperature or melted
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
12 oysters on the half shell
1/2 cup pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Mix the butter, garlic, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, cheese, salt, pepper, cayenne and parsley and set aside.
Place the oysters on a preheated 350F/180C grill, let cook until the juice start to bubble, spoon in ~1 tablespoon of the butter mixture onto each oyster, sprinkle on the cheese and cook until the cheese is golden brown.
Sprinkle on the parsley and serve immediately with extra butter, lemon wedges, hot sauce and bread.
Chef’s Note: If you don’t have an outside grill, you can do this with the broiler. Liquid smoke can be used in this case to give the broiled oysters a char-like flavor.
GREEN BUTTER GRILLED OYSTERS
Whether you’re having an elegant dinner party or simply want to spoil yourself, these Green Butter Grilled Oysters are a must. A Green Butter consisting of parsley, garlic, anchovies, and butter is topped on shucked oysters then broiled in the oven until the butter melts. Don’t forget the artisan bread to go with it.
1 dozen medium-size oysters on the half-shell
12 tbsp of freshly grated pecorino cheese (1 tbsp for each oysters)
1 rustic loaf of bread, sliced
Green butter (enough for 1 dozen oysters):
10 1/2 tbsp (150 grams) of unsalted butter
1/2 cup (25 grams) of parsley leaves
3 cloves of garlic
1 anchovy fillet in olive oil
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of ground white pepper
Preheat the broiler on high.
Add all the ingredients under “green butter” into a food-processor, and run until the mixture is smoothly pureed. Set aside. Drain most of the oyster liquor out of the shells (save it for some awesome seafood stew) and make sure the interior of the shell is squeaky-clean from any dirts/muds/broken shells, then apply about 1 tbsp of green butter inside each oyster. It helps the butter stay if you smear it again the side of the shells, instead of trying to make it stick to the oyster meats.
Arrange the oyster on an oven-proof platter, in a way/angle that the oyster are not slanting too much that liquid can escape easily. Place the platter on the upper level in the oven, only 2″ ~ 3″ (5 cm ~ 7 cm) under the broiler. Broil the oysters until 90% cooked through, approximately 4~5 min for medium-sized oysters (add 1 more minute to large oysters). Then take out the platter and apply approx 1 tbsp of freshly grated pecorino cheese, evenly on top of each oysters. Return the platter under the broiler and bake until the top is melted and golden browned, another 1~2 min (watch closely because it’ll happen fast).
Serve the oysters immediately with sliced country breads (be careful of the super hot shells). It’s all about dipping the bread inside those green liquid gold…
Hog Island’s Hog Wash
Hog Island Oyster Company not only produces some quality oysters, but they make an excellent Hog Wash to go with it. Lucky for us, they share the recipe!
Rice vinegar, shallots, lime, and fresh herbs are the secret to this fresh oyster sauce. Shuck some oysters and dig in! One bite and you’ll never want typical cocktail sauce again.
Yield: enough for 2 dozen oysters
Mix all, except the cilantro, in a small (preferably glass) bowl. Refrigerate for one hour. Shuck oysters, keeping as much liquid in the shell as possible. Place the oysters, in their shells, on a bed of ice on a deep-sided plate. Add the cilantro to the Hog Wash and serve in a small bowl alongside the oysters. A small amount should be spooned over each oyster just before eating.
NOTE: If you like a sweeter sauce, you may add a teaspoon of sugar to the recipe. Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in New York City substitutes 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons mirin and 1 teaspoon of sugar for the two rice vinegars.
GRILLED OYSTERS WITH CHIPOTLE BOURBON BUTTER
Got 15 minutes? Good, then you’ll be happy to know you can whip up these spicy, boozy oysters.
A scrumptious chipotle, butter, bourbon, and honey sauces are dolloped on top of the oysters, then broiled for a few minutes until the butter melts. Even people skeptical about oysters will agree this recipe is a winner.
Grilled Oysters with Chipotle Bourbon Butter
1/2 stick unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons, softened to room temp
2 tablespoons bourbon
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
12 oysters, shucked
In a small food processor or mixing bowl, combine the butter, bourbon, honey, garlic, and chipotle. Stir or pulse until well-mixed. You can make the butter mixture up to 1 week in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve. If you’re going to be cooking in the hot sun, make sure to chill the butter until solid before starting, about 1 hour.
When ready to BBQ, fire up your grill or broiler. Remove the butter from the fridge, and place a scant tablespoon on each shucked oyster. Place the oysters on the grill or transfer to a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Once the oysters and butter have bubbled and caramelized, remove them from the grill or broiler, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly before enjoying (the shells will be very hot). Eat immediately!
You’ll have an easier time incorporating the bourbon into the butter if you use a food processor. But you can just as easily spoon the butter mixture onto the oysters a bit lumpy–it’s going to melt anyway! If you’re broiling the oysters instead of grilling, use small piles of salt under each shell to keep them upright, otherwise the butter will spill all over the pan.
THAI OYSTERS WITH LIME AND CUCUMBER GRANITA
There are many ways to top oysters, but this Thai recipe is one of the most unique. A cucumber and lime granita with a spicy Thai dressing is the double-dipping duo that you’ll want with your fresh oysters. While the salty, sour granita may take a little time to prep, it’s well worth it.
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
2 tsp chopped red onion
2 tsp chopped green apple
12 shucked oysters
BLOODY MARY OYSTER SHOOTERS
It wouldn’t be a party without these Bloody Mary Oyster Shooters. Whip up a batch of mary’s, pour them into shot glasses, top with a fresh oyster, and shoot them down! Your guests will simply love doing a couple rounds of these shooters.
1 cup tomato juice
1⁄3 cup vodka
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper12 fresh oysters on half shellGarnish: celery leaves, freshly cracked black pepper
In a small pitcher, combine tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 15 minutes. Divide tomato mixture among 12 wide-mouth shot glasses. Garnish oysters with celery leaves and pepper, if desired. Serve with shooters.
Sure you’ve had shrimp ceviche and fish ceviche. Maybe you’ve even had scallop ceviche. But have you had oyster ceviche? Taking ceviche to another level, this is one recipe you’ve got to try.
Fresh oysters marinated in lime juice and mixed with tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, and cilantro served with a side plantain chips will change how you ceviche.
6 large fresh oysters opened – see how to open an oyster if needed
¼ red onion thinly sliced or diced
1 tomato seeded and finely diced
½ green bell pepper finely diced
½ tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
5 limes juiced
½ tablespoon oil sunflower or light olive oil
Salt to taste
Optional: A dash of ketchup/mustard based on your preference
Chifles or patacones
Aji or hot sauce