Oysters Jolie

So the Scamp and I found some lovely, huge oysters at the market tonight. They were crazy cheap, and we’re generally big oyster fans. [tweetmeme source=”jolieodell” only_single=false]

The only problem with oysters is that they’re so labor intensive, especially raw on the half shell. While I think we’ll continue to let other fine folks pry open and serve our raw oysters for us for the time being, I did come up with a wonderfully simple way to enjoy cooked oysters at home.

This method works really well if you’re grilling out of doors anyhow and just happen to have a hankering for oysters to go along with your steaks or whatnot. It’s also best to use really large Pacific oysters.

Before I tell you how to make Oysters Jolie, here’s a song:

Delightful!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • oysters
  • breadcrumbs (or bread/rolls/crackers)
  • a lemon or lemon juice
  • butter or a passable substitute (but real butter is best, by far!)
  • a small amount of very sharp cheddar cheese, cut in half-inch cubes or shredded/grated
  • paprika

There are no amounts. Amounts are silly. Just assume that you’ll need a half a lemon, a scant quarter cup of butter, a handful of breadcrumbs, and a quarter cup of cheese bits for six large oysters.

First, set your grill to medium-high heat. If your bread isn’t yet breadcrumbs, cut it into half-inch-or-smaller cubes and toast it under a broiler until the cubes are lightly golden brown. If you’re using crackers, crumble and/or smash ’em up in a Ziplock bag. Also, take this opportunity to melt your butter in a measuring cup in the microwave.

Next, take your big, delicious oysters and put them on the grill, unopened shells and all. Close the grill cover and wait for 5 to 7 minutes. When you open the grill, the oysters should have popped open at their seams. If one or two remain unopened, leave them on the covered grill for another couple minutes; if they never do open, give up and trash ’em.

Using oven mitts and a butter knife, carefully pop off our little friends’ hats the rest of the way and discard them. Arrange the oyster halves on a cookie sheet or broiler pan, and turn your oven’s broiler on. Alternatively, you could prepare the oysters at the grill; I just find it more convenient to bring the unshelled oysters inside after grilling them. But at any rate, once they’re opened and spread out on the cookie sheet/broiler pan, start adding your other ingredients.

Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over each, then sprinkle a soupçon of breadcrumbs on each one, put a lump or two of cheese on ’em, and finally, drizzle a liberal stream of butter over each half shell, breadcrumbs, oysters, cheese, and all. If you really want to, you can add other things you might have lying around your kitchen, such as green onions, Tabasco, or bacon. And although I’m certain that sharp cheddar is delicious, you might try gouda, brie, or bleu, too.

Finally, pop the sheet under the broiler or, if you’re still at the grill, into the covered grill. Only leave them in long enough for the cheese to melt. Pull them out quickly, and remembering your oven mitt, arrange them on a plate, dashing just a bit of paprika over the melted cheese and toasty breadcrumbs.

So, to sum up: Grill, pop, top, and broil. It’s a 10 minute job.

They’re rich, slightly salty, and absolutely beautiful. Scamp says, “It’s as if an oyster grew up into a real food rather than just a bar snack.”

And above and beyond their taste, they’re quick, easy, and hella cheap.

I would show you a picture, but we ate them all. =)

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