Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Grilled Oysters

One of the best and most unusual dishes in New Orleans is the grilled oyster: an oyster, on the half shell, grilled over an open flame. Very simple; amazingly good. And very popular in NOLA. Drago's in Fat City is probably the most famous practitioner of the art form, and you can watch the cooks shucking and sliding the oysters onto the grill from the bar area; great entertainment, and delicious bar food. I don't know if it's a New Orleans original, or whether perhaps the Croatian oystermen who founded so many of New Orleans' great oyster joints (Drago's, Uglesich's, etc.) came up with it. Doesn't matter. Delicious.

But very difficult to find in Houston. (Gilhooley's is the best-known exception.) Fortunately, with Gulf oysters cheap and delicious and easily had, you can make them yourself. I drove down to Captain Wick's, in Seabrook, and bought a 100-count sack of fresh San Leon oysters for $20. (That's a fine deal, by the way, for briny, plump oysters from the best spot on the Texas coast.) Then I made a basic garlic butter sauce with minced raw garlic, melted butter, olive oil, red chili flakes, black pepper, and a little Tony Chachere's. Shuck the oysters, place them half-shell down on the grill, and baste with a little sauce. Once the edges curl and the oysters plump up, they done. A little Parmesan to finish is optional -- but make sure it's the cheapo fake Parmesan in the green can. (I don't know why that's so important, but it is.)

(Thanks to houseguest extraordinaire Mo for the pic.)


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At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Jackie Ewing said...

I see you review a lot of other people's restaurants and recipes, but do you have healthy recipes of your own that you make? If you do, you should send them into this contest I know of that’s making its way around the country, the Aetna Healthy Food Fight. It’s coming to San Antonio on October 2-3 and Houston on October 9-10! I noticed your recipe and thought you would be interested. You could get great exposure for your recipes and meet celebrity cooks (Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Sara Moulton, or Cat Cora). All you have to do is go to to submit one of your healthy recipes. Deadline to sign up for San Antonio is September 15th and Houston is September 22nd so hurry! Good luck if you decide to enter, and if not, keep posting! :)

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Aetna has been spamming food blogs to promote this event- I am responding to each one in memory of my friend's fingers, which she lost due to Aetna denying her claims repeatedly. (Both of us are Houstonians as well) Saving money by spamming their promotions is one thing. Denying writers and teachers and mothers their digits and appendages is another...

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