Lust for Mollusks

Lust for Mollusks

While growing up in the Pacific Northwest I have had many loving encounters with mollusks (shellfish). My fondest memories were raking steamers on Willapa bay in long beach Washington or getting my knees dirty hunting delicate razor clams. The yearning truly started at age 5 when I tried my first oyster off the Barbie. My pops and his friends laughed at the sight of my chewing through the oyster instead of slurping it down. This was not an attention grabber, I really did love the flavor of the oyster and wanted more!!  The oysters flavor profile can dramatically change by species and waters they live in. It can also change by cooking. When cooking you will want to look for larger sized oysters. If you can find the European flat variety oyster for this recipe your life will never be the same. Below is my simply amazing grilled oyster recipe and I also included oysters Rockefeller for the super ambitious.

Grilled Oysters with Preserved Lemon Butter
(Serves 2 dozen Oysters)
2 Dozen Oysters shucked
1) You want to shuck the oysters prior to grilling.
2) Then place a healthy amount of butter on the oyster and grill until the oyster cooks in the butter.
Preserved Lemon Butter
½ pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon minced shallot
½ tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1 preserved lemon, seeded and chopped fine

1) All you do for this recipe is mix the ingredients in a bowl until all the flavors are in the butter.

Oyster Rockefeller
(Serves 2 dozen Oysters)
24 oysters, shucked
3 cups rock salt
½ sweet onion, minced
1TB canola oil
1 clove garlic, minced
two handfuls baby spinach, cleaned
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 shots Pernod
salt to taste
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs

1) Place rock salt in a large casserole dish or cookie sheet.
2) Shuck oysters and place on rock salt.
3) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4) Heat a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add onions and oil and cook for 3 minutes or until soft.
5) Add spinach and cook until soft and then add cream. Cook cream until nice and thick. Add Pernod and then season with salt. Place 1 tablespoon in each oyster. Make sure that the mixture is to the top.
6) Top each oyster with Parmesan cheese and then breadcrumbs.
7) Cook in the oven for 12 minutes and then let rest for 3 minutes before serving.
Chef Tip: If you do not have Pernod then using ½ tablespoon of ground fennel seed works great.