I’m not talking ninja turtles here though folks… I’m talking oysters!! I know everyone is busy enjoying their summer and it always goes by too fast, so I’ll keep this short and sweet.
Tawnya and I had a little long table party one afternoon in the sun and decided to feature oysters as the first course. I’ll share more with you about the other courses in upcoming posts but for now… Oysters 2 ways!
Being that people love oysters in the summer, we thought this would be an excellent way to whet our guests’ appetites for the meal to come. I love raw oysters but feel that cooked oysters don’t often get their fair share of limelight and so why choose between the two when we can give people two bites of these delicious mollusks.
This may look fancy as hell but trust me… You can do it!
Prep time: 20 minues
Cook time: 15 minutes for the grilled oysters
Special gear required: A fine grater, a grill (or oven), an oyster shucker, shaved/crushed ice, an egg beater
- 4 Small oysters, I used Kushi
- 4 Large oysters (about the size of your hand)
- 1 Ripe avocado
- 1 Bunch fresh parsley
- 1 Lime
- 1 Shallot
- 1 Container of fish roe, I used Salmon
- 2 TBSP white wine vinegar
- 1 Stalk horseradish root
- 2 Chilies, Chili Arbol works great here
- 2 Slices of unflavored thick-cut bacon
- 1 Head of garlic
- 1/2 Cup grated aged white cheddar
- 1/4 Cup of salted butter
- Leafy greens
- Black Pepper
Buy the oysters. I add this as a step because if you’re like me, then you probably typically get oysters at restaurants. Do some research and find a fish monger that has a good reputation for fresh seafood in your area. Buy the oysters the same day you plan to serve because you want them to be fresh and alive when you shuck them. Keep these babies on ice until you’re ready to open their awesomeness.
A twist on the classic Oysters Rockefeller; grilled with a roasted garlic butter sauce, shallots, parsley and aged white cheddar topped with grated horseradish root and chopped parsley:
Heat a pan and crush or grind your chili. Add the bacon slices to the pan and season with chili. Cook at medium temp here for about 20 minutes. We want the bacon drippings and we don’t want to burn the chili but rather have the flavor infuse into the drippings. You will be using this for your raw oysters but you will want to start this right away because it needs to cool before using it. And yes… the bacon slices are for you to snack on!
Slice the top of your garlic head. Sprinkle the garlic with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil and place in a preheated oven at 400 Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Have your butter ready at room temp which will make mixing easier for you.
Finely chop your fresh parsley until you have about 1 TBSP and take a big whiff of that fresh pepperiness! That always gets me going… anyway. Finely chop the shallot and and set 1 TSP aside for the other oyster dish. Add a pinch of parsley to the remaining chopped shallots. Finely grate 1 TBSP worth of horseradish root and mix with the rest of your chopped parsley in a bowl. Grate the cheese and set aside. Take the roasted garlic out of the oven and wrap a tea towel around the bottom of the foil. You can now open the foil and squeeze the roasted garlic into a bowl without burning yourself. Add the butter and the chopped parsley and shallot mix and stir to make your sauce.
Now shuck the large oysters. If you’ve never done this before, don’t fret because there are plenty of short “how to” vids on youtube. Make sure your grill is nice and hot or if you prefer turn your oven to low broil. Pour a healty amount of the roasted garlic butter sauce onto each large oyster and then top with the grated cheese. Place on the grill and close the lid. This will take about 15 minutes but not more. Just long enough to melt the cheese but not over cook the oyster. While these babies are cooking lets move on to the next bite!
Raw oysters on the half shell with avo mousse and chili bacon topped with roe:
Scoop the avocado into a cold bowl. I use an egg beater on high to make this mousse as fluffy and light as possible but a fork will work as well. While beating, squeeze the lime into the bowl to add a wicked citrus to the mousse. Put this mousse in the fridge. The chili bacon drippings should be room temp by now. Whisk in the white wine vinegar and a pinch of minced shallots and set aside on the counter. This will be your mignonette.
Shuck the small oysters and top with a small scoop of avo mousse. After this step I find it easier to begin plating before adding any other toppings. Put a bunch of leafy greens on one side of the plate as a bed for the grilled oysters and a scoop of shaved ice on the other for the raw oysters. Place your raw oysters on this ice now and continue building.
Pour a TSP of the bacon dripping mignonette over top of the avo mousse and dress with a small scoop of fish roe. Take the large oysters off the grill and place on the bed of greens. Sprinkle these with the fresh parsley and horseradish and they are now ready to serve!
You will find this dish will pair awesomely with a cool glass of prosecco or sparkling brut. The bubbles and acidity act as a perfect complement to the creamy oysters.
Enjoy and keep an eye out for the upcoming posts of the following courses.
Petey Pabs out…