Fresh & Grilled/Broiled Oysters (gf)

Oysters are fully into their season in December and doing two preparations will showcase their diversity of flavour. Usually I don’t go for oysters, Rockefeller or any oyster au gratin, but when Christine and I were visiting Hog Island near San Francisco we had a grilled oyster that was insanely delicious. Use west coast oysters for grilling, due to their creamy texture and use freshly-shucked east coast oysters due to the clean brininess that pairs well with acidity.

Pair this dish with a dry Alsatian Riesling with high acidity (Grand Cru is best), or a Belgian Witbier with a lemon wedge. –Roger

2-3/person East Coast oysters
2-3/person West Coast oysters
1-2 T smoked chilies* or 1-2 T bird’s eye chilies or chili flakes
125 ml olive oil, Arbequina or Portuguese
125 ml butter, warmed
1 T lemon juice
2 t zest, lemon
oyster garnish: lemon wedges, chopped herbs or shallots in white wine vinegar

Day before: blend olive oil, butter, lemon juice, zest and chilies very well.

Day of: heat the grill to med-high or the broiler to 450ºF. Shuck west coast oysters and place 10 ml of the chili oil on each oyster along with its brine.

If broiling: heat buttered oysters for 3-6 minutes until the butter has separated and the oyster is shrunk slightly.

If grilling: place oysters on the grill and cook for 5-7 minutes until the butter separates and the oyster has shrunk slightly. If you have some wood chips throw them on before you start grilling for a smokier flavour.

Shuck your east coast oysters and place them on crushed ice or salt in the fridge. Prepare the garnish. Reserve. Enjoy the grilled oysters alongside the fresh.

* If you are grilling oysters you can omit the smoked chili as the smoke from the grilling will be enough. Smoked chilies are available at Silk Road.