Thursday, April 8, 2010

Grilled Oysters

It seems that you either love oysters or hate them.  I’m in the first camp while my esteemed husband is firmly in the latter. As marital discord goes, this is fairly minor but it seems that most of my oyster consumption occurs when Ross is absent.  As infidelity goes, this too is fairly minor but I do try to be discreet.

Spring Break 093

So, when spring break arrived and Ross had a big meeting to prepare for, the kids and I retired to our rustic (emphasis here) cottage on the coast leaving Ross behind on the island.  The road to the coast passes acres of oyster beds and Copalis Beach is known as the razor clam capital of the world.  We arrived and unpacked, visions of sandcastles, beach fires and shellfish dancing in our heads.

But it was not to be, winter storms rolled in.  One day turned into two and before I knew it three days had passed with no break from the damp weather.  There comes a time when you begin to look for signs (you know…from above) and start making deals with yourself about how many more times you can listen to the Dora theme song before you break.  In my case the sign arrived in the form of an A-board advertising four dozen oysters for 20 dollars.

Turns out the kids favor their dad and aren’t oyster fans either.  Calls of Yuck! and I’m not eating those! accompanied my bargaining but I’d been tuning them out for days so it was easy to ignore them.

One woman…four dozen oysters…

Where to begin?

Spring Break 097

I’m no fan of shucking so when we got back to the cottage and Dora and Backpack took over with the kids, I lit the grill.  Oysters poached in their shell are plump and moist and depending on how you like them, just a bit jiggly.  They’re also fast.  Ten minutes and you’re enjoying piping hot, juicy oysters.  They need no embellishment but I suppose you could dribble them with Tobasco or dredge them in melted butter.

When you’ve got four dozen oysters and some time on your hands you get some pretty good practice in pairing.  One of my absolute favorites is grilled oysters and radishes.  Get a nice fresh baguette from Pane d’Amore, some salted organic butter and lovely, dewy, radishes.  Slice the baguette and spread with butter (this is not the time to be worrying about calories…really slather it on) top with thinly sliced radishes and a sprinkle of smoked sea salt.


Spring Break 100


As for wine…oysters are notoriously difficult to pair but we have some of the best shellfish wines in the world right here on Bainbridge Island.  I didn’t have the foresight to buy wine in advance of my oyster fest but I have it on good authority that I would have been quite happy with a bottle of Perennial Vintner’s Melon de Bourgogne

Kim Hendrickson, organizer of the upcoming New Releases Celebration and Wine Tasting in Downtown Winslow on April 24th, says, “I like this homegrown version of muscadet so much I'm organizing a shellfish tent around it.” You can read about the wine by clicking here Bainbridge Wine Weekend.

Grilled Oysters

Light grill and allow it to heat.  When the internal temp is 350 or above place the rinsed oysters, cup side down and close the lid.  Wait six minutes and take a peek.  If any have opened remove them, and those that are smaller.  Close grill for two more minutes and then remove any remaining oysters.  You may have to do some prying but you want to get them off the heat while they are still juicy.



sandraj said...

great article I loved it.

Unknown said...

Sorry, but oysters are just not my thing. Maybe if deep fried in batter with LOTS of garlic mayonnaise.

Anonymous said...

I love the predicament of being stuck with 4 dozen oysters! What is a girl to do? (I hope you pack elastic waisted pants!)

Carla said...

SandraJ...thank you for your nice comment. I said, you either love 'em or hate 'em .

Anonymous...I'll admit now that I was a bit hasty with ordering 4 DOZEN! but surprisingly, between grilling them a couple nights in a row, some culinary misadventure (oyster pizza is a NO as is Oyster omelet), and a big batch of oyster stew they were gone before I knew it.

El said...

It looks amazing. I'll bet you get some magnificent seafood on the island!