An Ode to Oysters

A May time celebration of oysters.
…and still in time for Cinco de Mayo festivities
or chic Triple Crown parties.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…
another winning trifecta for perfect menus.
Excellent accompaniment to Derby menus.
Oyster Casserole
2 quarts oysters
 (1 stick) butter
3 whole scallions, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Preheat the broiler. Grease a 9×13-inch ovenproof serving dish or spray it with nonstick spray.
Drain the oysters and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy casserole
Add the scallions and pepper and sauté until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and oysters and sauté for
5 minutes. In a separate pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter. Stir in the flour. When smooth, add the cream, and stir until boiling and thick. Add the cheese. Stir this cheese sauce into the oyster mixture and season with nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper. The casserole may be made ahead to this point and refrigerated overnight. Return it to the simmer on top of the stove before proceeding. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and top with the bread crumbs and dot with the remaining butter. Place under the broiler until browned and bubbling—about 10 minutes–until toasty.  Serve.
Or these additions to Cinco de Mayo fun.
Wood-Grilled Oysters in Chipotle Vinaigrette
Chipotle Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, very finely chopped
2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
36 oysters, shucked, on the half shell
For the grill:
1 cup hickory or mesquite chips soaked in water for 1 hour for a charcoal grill,
or 1/2 cup dry wood chips in a smoker box or an aluminum foil packet poked with holes for a gas grill.
To make the vinaigrette:
Whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Set aside. (Vinaigrette can be made up to 4 days ahead of time and stored, covered, in the refrigerator)
Arrange the oysters in their half shells on a large baking sheet. Spoon about 1 teaspoon vinaigrette over each oyster and bring out to the grill. Add the wood chips to the coals or place the smoker box or packet close to a gas jet on a gas grill. When you see the first wisp of smoke, quickly arrange the oysters on the grill grate. Close the lid and grill for 3 to 5 minutes or until the edges of the oysters have begun to curl.
Arrange the oysters on plates or a platter and serve, passing extra vinaigrette at the table.
Or this festive variation.
Grilled Oysters in Jalepeno Salsita
12 oysters, scrubbed
4 ears of corn, shucked
Canola oil for grilling
2 plum tomatoes, sliced in half, lengthwise
1 red onion, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, roasted, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
Light a fire in a charcoal or gas grill. Place the corn on the grill grate. Grill the corn for about 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove the kernels from the cobs and set aside.  Meanwhile, squirt just a bit of canola oil on the tomato and onion slices. Sprinkle pepper on top. Place the onion slices on the grill. Add the tomatoes cut-side down on the hot grate and grill until both are nicely browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the onion slices and tomatoes with tongs and continue grilling until the bottoms of the tomatoes  are nicely browned and the onion becomes softer and fragrant, about 3 more minutes. Dice the onion and tomatoes and place in a bowl. Add the corn kernels and the jalapeño. Pour in the olive oil and vinegar and stir to combine. Season with salt. This can be done up to one day ahead of time–just bring the salsita to room temperature prior to serving. Place the oysters directly on the grates of the grill, close the cover, and cook until all of the oysters have opened, 4 to 5 minutes. Discard any oysters that have not opened.  Top each one with
1 teaspoon of the corn and jalapeño salsita. Serve hot.
 
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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This entry was posted in appetizer, holiday, National Food Holiday, seafood, small plates and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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