Oysters have always been kind of a big deal around our house. Michael spent the first few years we were together perfecting his fried oyster recipe, and the Fry Daddy he now uses to turn them out is undeniably his most cherished wedding gift. If you’ve ever been to a party at our house, you know they are going to be on the menu regardless of whether they actually go with the main course or not and regardless of whether everyone we’ve invited over is either pregnant or just generally afraid of the little guys. We’ve gotten in such a bad habit of requesting fried oysters off the menu at Brennan’s, that our favorite waiter knows to bring them without us even asking. So it should come at no surprise that when we moved into our first house together, Michael gave me a set of sterling silver oyster forks as a house-warming present. The one thing we haven’t really done at home is to shuck them fresh, so I set out to remedy that situation for Valentine’s Day this year. I bought him a really cool oyster knife (and a set of gloves to protect his paws) and picked up a couple dozen oysters at Airline Seafood on the way home from work on Friday.
The shucking part was easier than I thought it would be. This little video was really helpful in learning how should you want to try your hand at it.
I made a fancy mignonette sauce with champagne and pink peppercorns to accompany the raw ones, but it turns out classic cocktail sauce and a little Tabasco was all we needed.
I also thought it would be fun to throw a few on the grill. We had some once in Galveston that were just about the best things I’ve ever eaten. We’ve tried desperately since to pry the recipe out of the guy who made them, but to no avail. These were a pretty great runner-up though. I made a compound butter based on an Emeril recipe, and put a little round on each oyster before they hit the grill.
They turned out pretty great, and are something I’m sure we’ll have fun playing with the recipe for over the years. Maybe one day we’ll stumble upon the recipe for the ones we had in Galveston. If we do, y’all will be the first to know!
Grilled Oysters with Lemon Garlic Compound Butter
For the butter:
10 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
4 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tablespoons minced parsley leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Zest from one whole lemon
Combine together and roll into a little log using parchment paper and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. This makes enough for about two dozen oysters, but the leftover butter is great on all sorts of things. We melted it over our steaks and it was awesome. For the oysters put a little round of butter on top of each oyster and place on the grill for about 4 to 6 minutes until the edges curl and the butter begins to bubble.
Michael was in charge of dinner, and this is what he came home with, for the TWO of us…
Ridiculous, but pretty amazing regardless. He made some scalloped potatoes and brussels spouts too, both of which were delicious.
For desert, I made these salted caramel lava cakes that would be perfect for a dinner party. You make the batter ahead and just refrigerate until you’re ready for desert. Throw them in the oven for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your ramekins), and they’re done. If you come over for dinner any time soon, don’t be surprised if they’re on the menu. Just oooh and ahhh and pretend you didn’t see them here first, okay? The original recipe called for you to make your own salted caramel, but then there was a little note at the bottom that you could just buy salted caramels and stick one inside the batter in each ramekin. Perfect.
Pretty delicious with a little blue bell on top!
Successful Valentine’s if you ask me!!