"I'm a firm believer that the world should be your oyster when you're cooking. People should open themselves to other cuisines. There are a lot of hidden secrets all over the world."Yotam Ottolenghi
I love a briny, fresh oyster but had never thought of grilling them until I visited New Orleans. On Iberville Street, the Acme Oyster House is something of a tourist trap, but it’s justly famous for its char-grilled oysters. After devouring several bar trays full, I went home and started experimenting (along with a few Sazerac cocktails for good measure). Grill-roasted garlic, parsley, and Romano cheese give the oysters some Italian aromas, but the Creole rub is pure New Orleans. Serve them with lemon wedges for squeezing and French bread for sopping up the extra sauce. When you shuck the oysters (see the sidebar), make sure the edges are perfectly clean with no bits of broken shell. Even the slightest bit of crunch would ruin the creamy luxury of the warm oysters oozing with melted butter and cheese.
This recipe is adapted with permission from Fire It Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim. This book is full of recipes for grilling unusual meats like goat, bison, elk, venison, goose, and ostrich.
Makes. 2 dozen
Takes. 15 minutes to prep, 10 minutes to grill
Serve with. Louisiana beer such as Abita Amber or a Sazerac cocktail
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup Grill-Roasted Garlic, mashed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning Rub
1/2 teaspoon Morton's Kosher salt
2 dozen large oysters, shucked
1 1/2 cups grated Romano cheese
4 lemon wedges
1) Prep. Combine the butter, mashed roasted garlic, parsley, lemon juice, Creole seasoning and salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter is no longer foaming and starts to brown a little, about 5 minutes.
2) Fire up. Light the grill for direct medium heat, about 375ºF. Brush the grill grate clean.
3) Cook. Place the oysters directly on the grate and top each with one about 2 teaspoons of the sauce and 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Grill until the oyster shells char and the cheese melts and browns around the edges, about 8 to 10 minutes.
4) Serve. Remove the oysters to a heat-proof platter or tray. Drizzle another teaspoon of the sauce over each oyster and serve hot with the lemon wedges for squeezing.