Baked Stuffed Oysters

I can eat oysters any day –fried, on the grill, on the half shell, in a bisque, soup or casserole –any day any time. Today I had a taste for baked stuffed oyters and the flavors did not disappoint. If you enjoy oysters as much as I do, then give this dish a try.

Served with one of my tasty mixed cocktails18

With a little squeeze of lemon and we have something going on

If only you could savor the flavor…

 I went about it all like this…

First of all you have to start with quality ingredients. I picked up a pound of oysters from Westborn Market, a place I truly appreciate for their fresh produce, gourmet products, and hard to find food items. To properly get to the jewel inside those shells, use an oyster knife if you should have one…or a good sturdy knife if not. If you don’t have a glove specifically for the purpose of opening oysters, fold a kitchen towel to protect your hand. I used one of my butter knives to open the oysters. You want to get the tip of the knife under the hinge, work it a bit, and simply pry the oyster open. After opening the oysters, I used my little sharpie knife to gently run across the top shell to dislodge the muscle that attaches  the oyster to  its shell. Afterwards run the knife (gently again) under the oyster so that it’s free-floating in its delectable juices on the half shell. Try not to tilt the oyster as you do this — you want to keep that delectableness…that oyster liquor. And of course if your opening of the oyster is less than perfect, just pick out any bits of shell

Yes! This is what we want. That’s a beautiful thing don’t you think? Again, we don’t want to spill any of that sumptuous elixir out of the shells, so try to keep as much as you possibly can within the shell

Oh my! My oh my. At this point we could just squeeze a little fresh lemon over these luscious freshly shucked oysters , add a dash of Tabasco or your favorite Hot Sauce and enjoy. This reminds me of my travels last year (2014) to Rhode Island where we enjoyed a very delicious Seafood dinner at the Nordic Lodge.  http://www.nordiclodge.com/

Nordic Lodge, Charleston Rhode Island. This is Deven, expert oyster shucker, serving up some great Oysters on the Half Shell. Delicious!  I Had some great conversations with him…a really nice young man.

The Nordic Lodge. If you’re ever in this neck of the woods, do stop in. http://www.nordiclodge.com/index.htm Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program…

 I sautéed three scallions, 2 Tbsp chopped parsley, one medium shallot, 1/4 cup chopped celery,  and 2 cloves of garlic,  (all very finely chopped or minced in a food processor) in 4 Tbsp of butter. After sweating that for a few minutes, I deglazed the pan with 1/4 cup of  Pernod. If you don’t have Pernod, white wine will work quite well. Next, I added heavy cream to a consistency that I wanted. Generally heavy cream is not used, but I wanted a nice creamy texture.  The aromas!!  Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste, and a dash of Tabasco Sauce, 1 Tsp of Worcestershire sauce,  1 Tsp anchovy paste (lends a nice saltines), and let the mixture cook down a bit for a few minutes. At the point pictured above I added finely chopped asparagus. Now, the original recipe calls for 1/2 pound or about 2 cups of  fresh finely chopped spinach — for use with approximately 30 oysters. In this recipe I substituted asparagus for spinach because it was a rainy evening, I had no fresh spinach on hand,  and I really didn’t feel like venturing out into the rain to the fruit and vegetable market just to pick up spinach. Thus… I relaxed, poured myself a lovely glass of white wine, and used what I had on hand–asparagus. So, whatever green vegetable you have on hand. Just give it a good mincing and carry on!

Next I added a four-cheese blend featuring Smoked Provolone, Mozzarella, Asiago, and Romano cheeses just till melted

In another pan I heated about 2 Tbsp of olive oil, and added 3 Tbsp chopped parsley with 1/2 cup of bread crumbs,  seasoned with salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.  Although I delight in making fresh bread crumbs, I used Panko bread crumbs, but gave them a little smash before-hand. Keeping those stocked in your pantry is a must

And mix it all together

Added 1/4 cup grated  Parmesan cheese and mixed it in well. Now we’re ready!

Spooning the asparagus mixture onto those lovely oysters. Ideally you would want to have some rock salt on hand. Again, it was a rainy night, I had none, and I was not venturing out…so I used some Kosher salt. The salt is used just to stabilize the oysters in the dish so they don’t tilt and lose that scrumptious oyster juice. Of course the rock salt will lend to a more appealing presentation and photograph. Thus, I do recommend using it

Oh my…my oh my. These were in a cast iron skillet if you were so wondering

Topping with the breadcrumb mixture

Ready to go into that oven that’s been preheated at 450 F

Topped with a little of that Smoked Provolone, Mozzarella, Asiago, and Romano cheese mixture…because my Men-folk like it like that. Then into an awaiting oven preheated at 450 F and baked until golden…about 10 minutes, but you make the call

Time! Oh let me tell you about it…

Plate with fresh lemon slices. Add a nice mixed cocktail featuring fresh pineapple, apple, cucumber, and white Tequila

Enjoy

And let’s have at it shall we?

Frying up a few oysters was a must. Served with fresh and fried red & green jalapeño peppers, along with capers..amazing

2Baked Stuffed Oysters

Enjoying the lovely sunset behind the Nordic Lodge as we waited for our page for dinner. Very beautiful and serene scenery

Nordic Lodge

Nordic Lodge, Charleston Rhode Island. We had a blast!

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Oyster Po Boy

As  you know, I’m quite fond of oysters, and frankly can’t go too long with cooking them in some fashion. Generally whenever I do a ‘fish fry’ I’ll throw in some oysters and fry them up as well– but I had not, as of yet eaten them in an Oyster Po Boy sandwich…well until now. It was so pleasingly pleasant to partake of   🙂

I really didn’t do any precise measuring of the seasonings used…just kind of  ‘went with it’  so use your favorite seasonings to your own discretion.

 

For the tartar sauce I combined a little mayo, Dijon mustard, a little relish, fresh cracked black pepper and a smigeon of  creole seasoning…pretty simple. I used white cornmeal with onion powder, garlic powder, a little black pepper,  Old Bay seasoning and Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning. Mixed it well, coated the oysters and fried in canola oil until lightly golden

Garnished with scallions, fresh parsley and sliced red chili just for the spice of it. Slathered a little extra virgin olive on an Italian style sesame seeded bun and gave it a little toast

Good Eats! The heat from the sliced red chili was not overwhelming as I did not include any of the seeds.  Love on a Bun!

Home grown red chili peppers. I’ll have to make a nice red sauce with these

Oysters!

I Love Oysters!

I wish I could fully convey to you how much I love Oysters…sigh…almost brings a tear to my eyes.

You can pan fry them, grill them, broil them, fricassee them, Oysters Casino (no clams don’t have a monopoly on that dish), Rockefeller, add them to stuffing, put them in soups & stews, smoke them, of course, eat them on the half shell with a fresh lemon juice…put them in just about any dish…shall I go on?

And—let us not forget those precious gems–pearls, that are produced within some saltwater oysters. My motto is–every women needs a nice string of pearls to adorn her neck.

When you buy oysters with shells, make sure the shells are tightly clamped together, indicating they are  still alive. Let’s shuck some oysters. Use a blunt-ended knife, preferably an oyster knife. Insert the end of the knife between the shells near the hinge and work it until you cut through the muscle that holds the shells together. Catch the oyster liquor in a bowl. When the oysters are all shucked, strain the liquor through a muslin before setting aside to use in sauces.

If you desire to eat them on the half shell –the pure and perfect way to eat an oyster is to have it fresh, raw, and alive, with at most, a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Just  place them in the deep half of each shell and serve with lemon juice and wedges. Clean, briny, and tender, they are the perfect first course, preparing the palate for the meal to follow.

A little brief history:

Oysters have a long history on this continent; ancient Indian settlements have been located because their inhabitants left heaps of empty oyster shells behind. Oysters vary in size from the tiny western Olympias to the huge Japanese variety. On the East Coast, Maryland’s Chincoteagues are famous.

The aroma of freshly shucked oysters is awesome….Love on a platter right there

Pan Fried Oysters—my little tasty snack that I made this evening.  With Mushroom Ravioli

Little morsel of tasty goodness. Lightly breaded and delicately (if I can use such a descriptive term) fried

Served with Rubyz Tartar Sauce

We can throw’em between a nice bread bun and have a good’ol Oyster Po’Boy Sandwich

Whenever I venture downtown, stopping in Tom’s Oyster Bar is a must

Fried Oysters from Tom’s Oyster Bar– Very lightly breaded and perfectly fried

Delectable from my Kitchen

Just fried tonight….can’t stay away too long

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