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Oystern the Barbie`

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    Oystern the Barbie`

    So, the first time I tried shucking oysters, I'd had a couple of beers, didn't wear any gloves, and ended up poking oyster juices into several spots in the palm of my hand with the wrong end of the oyster knife, which didn't feel too good for a few days, especially after having time to inflame. Anyway, I've learned a bit since then. I wear gloves and I'm fair at getting them opened, but I invariably do chip the shell and manage to drag shell bits and such into the oyster itself. I've watched You-Tube videos, so I get the general idea, but does anyone here have any other tips on how to shuck cleanly? Alternatively, do oysters open quickly enough on the barbie that one could let them "self-shuck" and still have time to apply a buttery basting sauce and some grated parm?

    Tomorrow's menu is turtle soup and BBQ oysters.

    The title should be edited to say "Oysters on the Barbie", but apparently I can't edit the title, so...
    Last edited by Willy; May 20, 2015, 06:45 PM.

    Definitely need to shuck before you put them on. No tricks to shucking, have a good shucking knife, find the sweet spot and twist the blade. When you get an opening, slide the blade in and across the top to detach. Some shells are definitely difficult, but don't try to muscle through, take your time.


      IvyH: Thanks! Any hints as to where the sweet spot is or how one knows it's been found? I poke around at the "hinge" end. Sounds like I may be too aggressive and force the blade wherever it first gets stuck? I have an OXO shucking blade and I think it is not the problem, but I made another mistake once, though I forget exactly when that was...


        This helped me...


        • johnsteen
          johnsteen commented
          Editing a comment
          great video...thanks

        smarkley-Thanks. That was a good video and it showed me that even a pro gets shell chips and the like on his knife. It also demonstrated to me that I am probably a bit too impatient. My conclusion is that I need to immediately rush out and buy a few dozen oysters to hone my technique. This may take days of practice; oh darn!


          Willy - It also can help if you give your oysters a thorough wash in cold water before shucking. If you have a wire or stiff bristle brush you can give each side of the shell a quick brushing. This well help remove excess dirt and shell chips that may be stuck to the outside and you'll have a little less debris to worry about dragging into your oysters.

          Plus 1 on the video watched it looks like sound advice. The key as mentioned is locating the hinge, popping it, and taking it slow and steady as you scrap the top and bottom shells. The towel on a cutting board technique is good practice until you get the hang of it and will ensure you don't stab yourself in the palm.


            Thanks, Chef Ryan!


              I was just in Seattle last weekend when we decided to shuck some oysters ourselves. Just find the hinge, wiggle the knife in with some pressure, then when you feel it stick twist the knife slowly to pry the shell apart. It may chip a little but just keep a towel handy to wipe the blade before you shear off the top shell. Mix and match lemons, Tabasco, horseradish, red wine vinegar, Sriracha… Or just plain briny. Mmm mm!

              We also cooked 2 dozen in the oven at 350° for about 10 minutes or so. Use foil to make sure they don't fall over and spill their juices too much. The shells will open and you'll have easy access.


                You all can have my share of those nasty things


                  DWCowles--Please send me your share immediately! :«)

                  eugenic--Thanks! I do use foil as you suggest--much cheaper though not as sexy as rock salt. Here's an excellent "BBQ" oyster recipe from Redfish Grill in NOLA: http://www.redfishgrill.com/recipes_display.html?id=90. And, of course, Oysters Rockefeller are to die for.


                    Never had them. Which is odd since I love sushi, sashimi, calamari, mussels, clam strips, etc. They're on the bucket list.


                      I'll post a Rockefeller recipe in the next day or two.


                        A recipe for Oysters Rockefeller:

                        Oysters Rockefeller
                        This makes enough topping for about a dozen and a half shucked oysters. Be sure to reserve the oyster liquor when shucking the oysters. Leave each oyster on its half shell.
                        1 pound fresh spinach or one ten ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed
                        1 cup chopped green onion
                        ½ cup chopped celery
                        ½ cup chopped parsley
                        1-3 cloves minced garlic
                        Several minced anchovy fillets
                        1 stick butter
                        1 tablespoon flour
                        1-2 tablespoons anise flavored liqueur, such as Pernod, absinthe, or anisette.
                        ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan (fer gawd’s sake, don’t use the stuff in the green can)
                        Hot sauce to taste
                        If using fresh spinach, remove stems and wilt briefly in a saute pan. Put spinach, green onions, celery, and parsley in a blender, food processor, or food mill and chop until well minced. Melt about half of the butter in the saute pan, saute the garlic and anchovy for a minute or so. Add the green mixture to the pan and saute for another minute or two to heat and evaporate any excess moisture. Add the flour, hot sauce, oyster liquor, the remaining butter and the licorice liqueur to the pan and blend together well. Heat for another minute or so.
                        Top the oysters with a good dollop of the green stuff, sprinkle each oyster on its half shell with grated Parm. Bake in a 450°F oven for about 20-25 minutes ‘til golden brown, delicious, and bubbly. Alternatively, throw ‘em on a hot grill. Enjoy!
                        This is seriously good eats. I think the licorice liqueur, garlic, and the anchovies are key ingredients; don’t leave them out. If you like, you could add about a half cup of cream to the green mixture. The recipe I based this on, which came from a circa 1980 recipe booklet attached to cartons of Benson and Hedges cigarettes (Aha! A benefit to having been a smoker.), specified the cream, but I’ve never used it. Once, I had just a jar of shucked oysters, so I made this dish using a muffin tin lined with cupcake liners. It’s probably be darned good as a casserole too.


                          As long as I'm at it, here's a recipe for BBQ oysters that claims its heritage to be the Acme Oyster House in NOLA. I highly recommend Acme, despite the fact it usually takes standing in line to get into the place. I made this, but cut the butter back to about 5-6 tablespoons and backed off the onions, garlic, oregano, and thyme by about 50%. Two sticks of butter seemed unnecessarily expensive.

                          Chargrilled Oysters Acme Oyster House Style
                          From Food.com

                          12 fresh shucked oysters, on the half shell
                          1/2 lb unsalted butter
                          1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                          1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
                          1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
                          10 garlic cloves, pureed
                          1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
                          1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
                          1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
                          1 tablespoon creole seasoning
                          1 ounce white wine
                          1/2 cup grated romano cheese

                          Melt half the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add your lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, green onions and all herbs and seasonings. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then stir in wine. Keep stirring and remove from heat as soon as the green onions wilt. Let cool for 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the butter and stir until completely incorporated.

                          Heat grill to to 350°F Place oysters on grill. When the oyster liquor starts to bubble, spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce on top of each, then top with 1 tablespoon of Romano cheese. Let the cheese melt. When oysters begin to slightly brown at the edges, remove from grill and place on a heat proof plate or tray.

                          Top each oyster with an additional tablespoon of the butter sauce and serve immediately with slices of french bread for dipping.

                          One note: The recipe above was copied off the Net and I didn't alter it (I have made it). The 350°F recommendation in the recipe is not at all consistent with what I observed watching the grill guy at Acme cook these oysters. Flames were everywhere. I'd say 350 is a tad low compared to the reality at acme.

                          Last edited by Willy; May 30, 2015, 11:35 AM.



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