This recipe is courtesy of Kit Wohl's Cookbook Studio and her book New Orleans Classic Seafood (Pelican Publishing). Kit appears regularly in the kitchen on the Sunday edition of WWL-TV’s Eyewitness Morning News, Sundays at 6 a.m.
This dish was inspired by a classic New Orleans dish, barbecued shrimp. Here, the shrimp are replaced by fresh oysters, with the other ingredients remaining the same. It makes for much less messy eating, since there are no shrimp shells to remove. If you are into a Keep it Simple Summer (KISS) mode, place the oysters in the oven pan, forget the shells, and serve them in gumbo bowls.
KISS Barbecue Oysters
48 shucked fresh oysters, bottom shells reserved
2 cups unsalted butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, pressed
juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 loaf crusty French or Italian bread
NOTE: If you prefer even more peppery heat, double the amount of black pepper and hot sauce
and add 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
Strain the oyster juices (the “liquor”) into a container to remove grit and refrigerate or freeze for future use. Set the oysters aside. Scrub the oyster bottom shells clean under running water and set aside.
Preheat the oven broiler or fire up the grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If preparing under an oven broiler:
In a medium-size saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Mix in all other ingredients except the oysters and the bread. When the mixture is hot, add the oysters and simmer the sauce on low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the oysters just begin to curl.
With a spoon, remove the oysters from the saucepan and spread them in one layer around a baking pan with a rim about 2 inches high. Then pour the sauce over them. (If you’re preparing this dish ahead, it can be done to this point, and preparation can resume just before serving. Otherwise, proceed as follows.)
Place the oysters under the broiler and the bread under the pan on the lower rack to warm while the oysters cook. Watch them very carefully. When they are plump and the tops have begun to brown, remove them from the oven along with the bread.
Spoon 12 oysters into each of four soup bowls and pour the sauce over each serving of oysters. Serve immediately, along with the bread, for dipping.
If preparing on a grill:
When the grill heat reaches the point where a hand can only be held over it for only 2 or 3 seconds, it is ready.
Place an oyster on each bottom shell. Place the filled shells on the grill and top each oyster with about 1 more tablespoon of the sauce.
Using a brush, continue adding sauce until the oysters have curled and the sauce is brown and bubbly, which should be in 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the filled half-shells carefully with tongs or an oven mitt and serve immediately on trays with bread.
Courtesy of Kit Wohl's Cookbook Studio and her book New Orleans Classic Seafood (Pelican Publishing). Kit appears regularly in the kitchen on the Sunday edition of WWL-TV’s Eyewitness Morning News, Sundays at 6 a.m.