On their own, oysters are a nearly perfect food. You can harvest them straight from the ocean, shuck them, and slurp them down raw. Their sweet, briny flavor stands on it’s own.
However, there are times when you want something more than oysters on the half shell. The holidays are often just that occasion! For those occasions, here are some favorite oyster recipes for you to try.
Oysters are great fried. Dip them in beer batter to make a crispy fritter, or bread them with cornmeal and pile them on French bread with lettuce and tomato for a traditional New Orleans po’boy.
This time of year oyster dressing is often the most popular recipe, but I love Oysters Rockefeller, or what we call Devils on Horseback. You’re sure to find a great way to prepare this tasty treat in our collection of great oyster recipes.
(My Favorite) Oysters Rockefeller
2 dozen oysters, shucked
1/4 cup butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
2 green onion, sliced
2 tablespoons celery, finely diced
Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Shuck the oysters placing them in a baking pan filled with rock salt to keep them level and prevent the juices from spilling.
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the garlic, sauté until fragrant, about a minute and mix half of the garlic butter into the breadcrumbs.
Add the spinach, green onion and celery to the pan and cook until the spinach wilts.
Add the anise liqueur, deglaze the pan and allow most of the liquid to evaporate and remove from heat before seasoning with cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
Mix the parsley and Parmesan into the breadcrumbs.
Place a heaping teaspoon of the mixture onto each oyster followed by some bacon and the breadcrumbs.
Bake in a preheated 450F oven until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 205, Fat 16g (Saturated 9g, Trans 0g), Cholesterol 61mg, Sodium 301mg, Carbs 6g (Fiber 0.8g, Sugars 3.1g), Protein 7.2g
Devils on Horseback
(My friends and I have been making and enjoying this one for years)
Hot Sauce (such as Frank’s)
Fresh or purchased cooked bacon pieces
Drain oysters, and place drained oysters in a broiling safe dish, (I use Au Gratin dishes). Cover generously with hot sauce, and top with bacon pieces. Broil in oven until bubbly and the bacon starts to brown. Serve with saltines. Sorry this recipe seems vague, much of it depends on the amount of oysters you have, the number of people you are serving, and how much hot sauce you like. Once the oysters are gone the hot sauce and bacon are still deliciously flavored with the oyster liquor, enjoy!!
Crispy Fried Oysters
24 shucked medium to large oysters
3 large eggs
2 sleeves saltine crackers (8 ounces), pulsed to coarse meal (no bigger than 1/8″) in a food processor
Corn or vegetable oil (for frying)
**Special equipment:**A deep-fry thermometer
Drain oysters. Beat eggs in a medium bowl to blend. Add oysters and turn to coat completely. Pour half of saltine crumbs into a 13x9x2″ baking dish. Working in batches, lift oysters with a slotted spoon, allowing excess egg to drain back into bowl, and transfer to baking dish. Scatter remaining crumbs over oysters and toss to coat. Cover dish and chill for 2-3 hours.
Line a plate with paper towels. Pour oil into a medium heavy skillet to a depth of 1/2″. Prop deep-fry thermometer in skillet so bulb is submerged. Heat oil over medium heat to 375°F. Working in batches, fry oysters, turning once, until coating is crisp and deep golden brown, about 1 minute per batch. Transfer to paper towels; season with salt.
Classic Down South Oyster Stew
1 pt. shucked fresh oysters, undrained
2 cups milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup butter
1 shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons sherry (you may substitute with dry vermouth, dry white wine or apple cider)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
Fresh lemon juice
Dash of hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
Oyster crackers, saltine crackers, or buttered toast
Drain oysters, reserving oyster liquor (about 1 cup). Heat milk and oyster liquor in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking occasionally to prevent scorching, 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture just begins to steam. Add oysters, and season with desired amount of salt and pepper. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until the edges of the oysters just begin to curl. Remove pan from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer oysters to a plate to prevent them from overcooking.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 4 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle flour over shallot mixture, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until completely incorporated and bubbly. Gradually whisk in half-and-half and next 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Gradually stir in reserved milk mixture and oysters. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, just until warmed through. Season to taste with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Serve with crackers. Yields 4-6 servings.
(Adapted from a SAVEUR recipe)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. minced mixed herbs, such as basil, oregano, and rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Coarse rock salt, for baking sheet
12 oysters, on the half shell
6 oz. feta, crumbled
6 oz. lump crabmeat
1 1⁄2 tbsp. capers
Chopped parsley and thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
Hot sauce, lemon wedges, and toasted ciabatta, for serving (optional)
Heat oil and garlic in an 8″ skillet over medium. Cook until garlic is golden, 4–6 minutes. Stir in minced herbs and pepper; let cool. Heat oven broiler. Line a baking sheet with rock salt about ¼” deep. Nestle oysters onto bed of rock salt. Spoon reserved garlic oil over oysters and sprinkle with feta, crabmeat, and capers. Broil until feta is golden brown and the oysters begin curling at the edges, 2–4 minutes. Garnish with parsley and scallions; serve with hot sauce, lemon wedges, and toasted ciabatta, if you like.
Cornbread Oyster Dressing
12 tbsp. butter
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 stalks celery, peeled and finely chopped
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. crumbled dried sage
1⁄2 tsp. dried tarragon
6 cups crumbled corn bread
1 cup chicken stock
2 eggs lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 dozen small shucked oysters
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 6 tbsp. of the butter in a skillet over medium heat; add onions, celery, parsley, sage and tarragon. Sauté the mixture until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
Put corn bread in a large mixing bowl. Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; add remaining butter, stirring until butter has melted, then pour over corn bread. Mix in sautéed onion-and-celery mixture, eggs, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Gently mix oysters into the corn bread mixture, taking care not to break up oysters. Transfer to a buttered 8″ × 8″ baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes. Serves 8.