California Central Coast Recipes
Grilled Oysters Romantic Table Style
Grilled Oysters Romantic Table style is a really simple and elegant way to prepare oysters on the grill. Though not quite as complex in taste as Oysters a la Charra
this recipe is done so easily and quickly it is a perfect appetizer to make standing around the grill with your friends drinking a little wine as you cook.
Morro Bay oysters are particularly large and well shaped for grilling. The curved part of the shell serves a nice little boat to hold in all the wonderful juices as the oyster plumps up as it cooks on the grill.
This recipe has a bit of a twist by adding garlic butter bread crumbs at the end of the grilling to soak up all the juices as well as prevent the oyster from drying out.
One very nice benefit of grilling fresh oysters is that is is much easier to shuck the shell. Usually the shell is not held so tightly closed after a few minutes grilling and even begins to open for you making the insertion of the shucking knife much easier.
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 10 minutes
2 cups Fresh Bread crumbs , use a rustic style bread - a crusty french roll works well
1/2 cup grated Grana Padua cheese , or Parmesan Reggiano
1/2 cup Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley loosely packed
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
4 cloves Garlic , chopped.
8 medium Fresh Oysters , preferable with a deep bowl shaped shell
1 Turn on your grill to high heat
2 Scrub with a brush and rinse the oysters until clean.
3 To make the bread crumbs, start with a crusty bread, or crusty French rolls. Tear or cut the bread into pieces and process in a food processor into somewhat coarse bread crumbs.
4 In a saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter then add the chopped garlic and saute for a few minutes until the garlic is soft.
5 Add the bread crumbs to the pan, mix well and continue to saute until the crumbs are golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chopped parsley and grated cheese, mix well and continue to saute a few minutes more until everything is well combined. Remove the pan from the heat. Cover and keep warm if you are not using immediately.
6 Place the oysters FLAT side down on the hot grill. Grill until you see moisture beginning to seep out along the shell edges --about three minutes. Flip the oysters and continue to grill for another 3 minutes or until the shells begin to open. Be careful, while grilling the oyster may pop open with a bit of a splash of hot juice.
7 Remove the oysters from the grill and using an oyster or paring knife and a hot pad or glove, remove (shuck) the top flat shell half of the oysters, and loosen the oysters in the lower "bowl" part of the shell. Take a look at my article How to shuck an oyster for shucking instruction if you have not done this before.
8 Dividing the bread crumbs evenly, cover each oyster with crumbs, place back on the grill and and continue to cook for a few minutes more, hood down if you grill has a hood.
9 Remove the oysters from the grill and serve immediately with slices of fresh lemon.
On a hot day, a cold Pinot Grigio with good acidity or dry Alsatian style Riesling pairs wonderfully.
In you are inclined to a red wine, and if you went a little heavier on the cheese. try a simple rustic style Mediterranean or Rhone style blend at cellar temperature.