Have you ever had a tasty plate of delicious and salty appetizers at your favorite restaurant and wondered how it’s made? They’re easy to make, and you can whip a plate of them at home. And if you have a traditional oven, making a large batch for your family and friends becomes a breeze. Let’s get to it.
Oysters Nutrition Facts
Selecting the Oysters
Picking the right oysters is the first step to a perfectly cooked recipe, and if you want to do it right, you must get it from the start. You’ll want fresh and live oysters with tightly clamped shells. The shells should also remain shut when you tap them and smell like the sea. Avoid open or broken oyster shells or shells that don’t close tight when handled.
Washing the Oysters
So, you’ve purchased a fresh bag of oysters from the seafood store. And the fishmonger assures you they’re of the best quality. But you can’t just dump them in a tray and add your seasonings straightaway, and you’ll first have to prep them.
Start by washing them thoroughly by scrubbing the shells with a stiff brush. Oysters are bottom-dwellers and spend most of their lives in the sand, so their shells will be lodged with tons of accumulated grains. And though the fishers may have washed them before offering them for purchase, it helps to be double sure.
Shucking the Oysters
The next step is to shuck the oysters, but don’t panic. It’s not as hard as it looks. But it helps to have a step-by-step guide, so you do it right and not harm yourself. You’ll need a sharp oyster knife to do this, and here’s how to go about it;
- Put a towel on a work surface, then place the oyster on it, with the flat side up. Then, fold half of the shell with the towel and put your hand on it.
- Gently stick the knife’s tip into the shell’s hinge, at the part where the shell halves meet. Then, twist the knife to slide through the hinge and pop it open with a little force.
- Cut the muscles along the flat shell by running the knife along its top inside. Then, remove the top shell.
- Run the knife under the oyster, so it releases from its bottom shell. Do this without spilling the oyster liqueur- you’ll need this delicious juice.
If shucking your oyster seems like a lot of work, you can ask your fishmonger to do it for you. Or, if you prefer, purchase pre-shucked oysters from the grocery store with the shells still intact.
Seasoning the Oysters
Oysters are easy to flavor and are welcoming to many simple ingredients. You can combine spice and seasoning and add extra ingredients like breadcrumbs or grated cheese. Some dishes enjoy adding lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice for an acidic zing. And others prefer to combine aromatics like garlic with butter for a creamy but incredibly tasty experience.
You can also add freshly chopped vegetables to the recipe, like parsley or chives, for a hint of garden flavor and colorful pop. And any pepper will work for the recipe, be it cayenne, adobo, black pepper, smoked paprika, or even chipotle. But for baked oysters like this one, it’s best always to include a creamy base comprised of finely grated cheese.
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Cooking the Oysters
Baked oysters are done in a rimmed baking sheet, which poses a challenge. While handling, the shells may wobble, causing the contents to spill. It’s why a bed is made for the oysters so they can balance. And you can prepare this layer using any of the following ingredients and materials;
Of the three, aluminum foil is the easiest option. Rock salt and uncooked rice are great for aesthetics, while the freshly chopped vegetables contribute an aromatic appeal to the dish’s presentation.
Once the oysters are arranged in the lined baking sheet, season them to preference and slide the pan into the oven. You’ll want them baked at 375F for 15 minutes until the topping exhibits a golden brown hue. Then, you can serve the oysters as desired.
Serving Baked Oysters
You can serve baked oysters alongside crab cake sandwiches, deviled eggs, skewers, pasta, or roasted vegetables. They also make excellent appetizers before the main course and can be served with lemon wedges or a sprinkle of freshly chopped chives or parsley. You can also offer them a side of saltine crackers or hot sauce, cocktail sauce, horseradish, tartar sauce, or a vinegary mignonette.Print
- Prep the oven to preheat to 375F, and then line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange the oysters in the foil-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle each with a tablespoon of the cheeses and a pinch of seasoning.
- Slide the sheet in the oven and bake the oysters for 15 minutes, or until they’re melted and golden brown. Take the oysters out, and serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley
You’ll also find more ideas here.