Grilled Oysters

Oysters are an aphrodisiac. 

Hmmm … the famed 18th-century lover Casanova ate 50 oysters for breakfast every morning. Seemed to work for him, though the official verdict is still out … BUT … they are good for your heart and the rest of your body too. 

Oysters are loaded with iron, vitamin D and are an excellent source of protein so you can literally eat to your heart’s content. 

My favorite oysters are Blue Points and I tend to be a bigger fan of those raised along the Eastern Seaboard, than those from say Puget Sound. From a strict comparison sake, typically people find East Coast oysters to be a bit saltier than their Western counterparts. Some say West Coast oysters are sweeter, but I’ve yet to note that myself. Either way, whether you’re Team East Coast or Team West Coast, if you like oysters you’ll be happy to know you’re eating something good for you, all of you ; ) (wink, wink)

One in 280,000 people are struck by lightning each year—one in 10,000 oysters produce a pearl during their lifetime

I’ve always been a big fan of oysters on the half shell. But, once in a blue moon cooked oysters make their way into my dinner plans … and one the easiest way to cook oysters is to grill them in their shells. In other words, you don’t have to do any prepping other than make a sauce to serve them with. No shucking needed as the oyster shells literally “pop” open when they’re cooked—they steam inside their shells. Here’s a quick and easy way to make oysters at home.

Grilled Oysters

PREP TIME: 20 minutes | COOK TIME: 10 minutes

  • A few pounds of fresh oysters
  • 1-2 sticks of butter, melted
  • 7-8 heads of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Tabasco

Heat grill to just over medium. You don’t want it too hot … on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the hottest, aim for a 6.5. VERY IMPORTANT: Place the oysters cup side down with the hinge closest to the grill opening just in case there are any that want to “explode” off the grill grates. This way they’ll “shoot” towards the back of the grill. I’ve never had it happen, but it’s a possibility so better to be safe than sorry.

Close the grill lid and let cook for 10-15 minutes. The bigger the oysters, the longer the time needed to cook. You’ll know when they’re done because the shells will “pop” open, not completely open, but enough that you’ll be able to tell. That’s all there is to it. Remove from the grill and pry open with an oyster knife. Serve as is or with your favorite dipping sauce. I like a combination of Tabasco with lemon, garlic, fresh parsley and melted butter. Just melt butter (clarified is best), add garlic, parsley and lemon then drizzle over oysters. People can add Tabasco as they see fit. Enjoy!

Three Interesting Facts About Oysters

  1. There are boy mollusks and girl mollusk. True, but both male and female oysters have gonads which produce both eggs and sperm—which means they are hermaphrodites and can change gender if they want to.
  2. It’s ALIVE. Or is it? If you’ve enjoyed the delicacy on the half shell, then yes, chances are the little creatures are still alive. By law, oysters are sold live (as are mussels and clams). But that’s OK. It means they’re fresh … and no one wants to eat an oyster that’s been “living” in a fridge for weeks on end.
  3. Oysters have gills.Oysters are like fish in that they take oxygen from water as it passes through their gills, and discard the carbon monoxide. And, believe it or not, the little guys (and gals) also have a heart, stomach, kidneys, and intestines. Who knew!

On Being a Flexitarian

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