Friday, December 26, 2008

Oysters "Casino"

This recipe is a twist on the typical clams casino.  Of course the main ingredient is different, oysters swapped for the clams, and the topping has a few different flavors as well.  Call it a southwestern version...

16 large or 20 medium sized oysters, scrubbed
4 T unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced (1 teaspoon or so)
1 large shallot finely diced (2 tablespoons or so)
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 a cup finely diced roasted poblano or anaheim chile pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup coarsely ground dried corn bread. (coarse crumbs)
4 slices thin sliced bacon
At least two cups rock salt
lime wedges
rough chopped cilantro.

Carefully shuck each oyster making sure to cut the muscle under the oyster, and leave then inside, on the half shell. Pour the oyster juices into a cup and reserve.  As you shuck the oysters set them on a baking sheet lined with the rock salt to keep them level.

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic and shallots until they are soft.  Stir in the cinnamon, then the oyster juices, roasted poblanos and black pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.  While the mixture is still warm, fold in the corn bread crumbs.

When the mixture has cooled a bit, use a tea spoon to distribute it evenly among the oysters cut the bacon into 4 or 5 pieces each, depending on whether you have 16 or 20 oysters, and put a piece of bacon on top of each oyster.  Refrigerate until you are ready to bake them.

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven a preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line four serving plates with rock salt.

Place the sheet of oysters in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes until the back is crisp, and the oysters a bubbling.  Place 4 or 5 oysters on each plate and sprinkle a little chopped cilantro on each one and serve with lime wedges.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as an appetizer.

1 comment:

  1. Nice twist! I'll try this out on my New Year's guests, I usually serve oysters on the 1/2 shell since they are so fresh here on the central coast, but it is really chilly right now so bubbling hot sounds even better.