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Steelhead's Barbequed Oysters
submitted by: Richard Alves a.k.a. steelhead

There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing a good meal with friends. Barbequed oysters are a wonderful appetizer and a social event! Guests congregate around the grill and, because everyone seems to prefer them cooked a little more or less, eventually get involved in the cooking.

The only "must have" ingredients are:

  • 3 to 6 Fresh oysters per guest (depending on the size of oyster)
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter for each medium sized oyster
  • 2 medium cloves of finely chopped garlic for each stick of butter
  • Plenty of sourdough French bread baguettes

You can use a gas or charcoal grill. Personally I prefer the flavor of the charcoal grill.

Melt the butter over low heat and add the garlic. Cook over low heat for at least five minutes without browning the butter.

If you look at an oyster, one piece of the shell is cupped and the other is relatively flat. To start I like to select a few with the deepest cups and use them for cooking the ones you will find that just don't sit right on the grill.

Put the oysters on the grill. After a few minutes on the heat, the oysters will start steaming and begin to open. Using a hot mitt, or better yet a welding glove, grab an oyster. The trick is to prepare the oyster while preserving as much of the natural juices as possible. Holding the oyster cup side down use a stout knife to pry open the shell working from as near the hinge as possible. Use a sharp paring knife to cut the meat loose from both pieces of shell.

Return the cupped shell to the grill balancing it so the oyster is cooking in the juice. Sometimes, the flat shells can be used to help prop up the cookers. Add as much of the melted butter and garlic as comfortably fits in the shell. Cook to preferred doneness. Do not let the butter completely cook off. Add additional as necessary.

Serve on a slice of sourdough.

Best served with a good microbrew ale and a choice of condiments including:

  • Cocktail Sauce
  • Fresh Lemon slices
  • Horseradish
  • Sliced Green Onion
  • Tabasco
  • Heated Barbeque Sauce
  • Worcestershire

Like any good seafood, the fresher the oyster the better. Purchasing direct from the oyster farm is the best. Keep refrigerated and serve within 48 hours...the sooner the better.

A good seafood shop is a distant second source with the supermarket being a last resort. If you see any in the bunch where the shell has opened at all, don't waste you time or money on 'em.


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