Alex Loves Oysters!
My wife Alex loves oysters – and since she was behind the idea for my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, I chose week #30 in my yearlong cooking effort to make her beloved bi-valves THREE WAYS!
“The Big Oyster!”
I was excited to make some fun, delicious and easy oyster dishes, as I am a huge fan of Mark Kurlanksy’s history of the oyster in the US…the book includes fascinating insight into the role that oysters played in our nation’s history – and the book has lots of recipes for this delicious bi-valve, so let’s make some three different and unique ways!
Oysters! Bacon! White Wine! Let’s Cook!
All three of these recipes are easy to make, and use very few ingredients – note that th wine is actually for drinking as I cook – so let’s get started by shucking some oysters!
The Kusshi oysters were purchased at the terrific Santa Monica Seafood shop here in West Los Angeles…I only got a half dozen, because shucking is not easy!
The key to shucking an oyster is to wedge your shucking knife into the narrow slit at the back of the shell…I wiggled the knife until I felt it break through…
My wife Alex shot the entire shucking process, and I explain what I am wearing and why:
These will be the first course: freshly shucked raw oysters with a squeeze of lemon! Oh, and here is the video where Alex guilts me into shucking more than one!
You will see that clip soon!
Next up, another fairly easy dish that uses the grease from one of our other ingredients!
Making Pan-Fried Oysters!
This is also easy to do: I bought a half pound of whole shucked oysters, and I dipped them in some Italian bread crumbs…no flour, no egg, just the bread crumbs, and then I pan fried them for 3-4 minutes each side – in bacon fat!
It not only sounds delicious, it smells great too!
If you are wondering where the bacon fat came from, well, that’s the last recipe!
Making “Angels On Horseback!”
The most intricate recipe goes last…remember that bacon sitting on my counter? It was time to fry it up!
Here are your ingredients for this deliciously easy oyster dish:
1/2 pound bacon
6 fresh oysters
White wine – for drinking!
As much fun as these are to make, “Angels On Horseback” is simply a bacon-wrapped oyster!
As one food website describes the dish: The name itself, “angels on horseback,” is believed to be derived from its classic appearance when the bacon edges curl up after broiling, remotely resembling the upturned wings of angels!
The key is to pre-cook the bacon so it is partially done – that’s because the oysters will cook faster on a grill than the bacon!
I cooked 4 slices of bacon for about 5 minutes on each side on a lower-medium heat…then let them cool.
I set the bacon fat aside and cooked the pan-fried oysters that you saw in it!
Here is how I prepared the “Angels On Horseback”, and it will take us back to my shucking efforts with some commentary from Alex!
Yes, I called them “Angels On Halfback” by mistake but Alex helped me out – and yes, I only shucked 4 of the oysters – and did 4 only because she told me one wasn’t enough!
The raw oysters are easy to wrap with the bacon, and a toothpick holds them in place…
Of course, I broke the “space time continuum” here in the pictures as the pan-fried oysters weren’t pan-fried yet, but it’s all about the storytelling, so go with me…
I put the “angels” on the grill – using some aluminum foil so they wouldn’t stick, and cooked them on each side for 5 minutes….and that’s it, my “oysters three ways” were done!
The “Angels On Horseback” were delicious, as the smoky, salty bacon is a perfect counterpoint to the smooth richness of the poached oyster, which doesn’t grill because the bacon protects it a bit!
The fired oysters were delectable: after all they were cooked in bacon grease, and the oyster has plenty of meaty goodness since it’s only covered by a thin later of bread crumbs…
The freshly shucked oysters were a pop of briny salt water – I ordered these Kusshi specifically because these British Columbia oysters are smaller and cleaner in flavor…a light pop to end the meal!
This was an entire meal for us – we added a fresh salad and called it a night!
I love oysters and hope all of you do as well!
I have shared other books about oysters as well, and this is a particularly fascinating one:
This non-fiction book has terrific and even mysterious stories about the bi-valve – see my review here:
This was week #30 in my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, and some have asked what my favorite dishes have been so far:
Well, this “pulled pork pasta in almond cream sauce” was absolutely delicious and fun to make as well!
Click here for the recipe:
One of the recipes that surprised me the most was this one:
I made the traditional Rao’s meatballs and was amazed to discover that you use warm water in the meatball!
Click here for the recipe and to see why that was a game changer!
And one dish was such a challenge to make that I included all of the disastrous makstakes I made along the way!
Here’s my “Crispy Mollet Egg With Asparagus Sauce” effort – and it almost cracked me!
Click here to see why:
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Let me know what you think of my “52 In 22” challenge!
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