Tag Archives: oysters

Happy as a Clam: Or Baked Oysters with Garlic Breadcrumbs

No matter how old we are, it’s good to be kids again. This weekend I’m happy as a clam because my Dad (aka Big Tim) is visiting from New England. In a family as big (and admittedly self-congratulatory) as The Malarkeys someone is always having a birthday, graduation, bon voyage party, welcome home party. You name it…we’ve celebrated it. Tomorrow we’ll be raising our glasses to toast Topher’s Birthday at Dinette. Before we do though, there have of course been multiple family dinners and meals to be had.

One of the things I love about cooking with my Dad is that if it’s possible he loves meal planning, and cooking, and talking about food, and brainstorming over the next feast almost more than I do. Yesterday we went to three grocery stores to get all the goodies for a delicious dinner of Cider Braised Pork Shoulder, Homemade Biscuits, Steamed Broccoli, and Tim’s very own gingerbread cake that was out of this world.

Big T Baking up a Storm in the Kitchen

To start though we had absolutely delicious baked oysters from Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen cookbook. I’ve been wanting to make these for a while and they didn’t disappoint. The reserved oyster and lemon juice helps keep the flavor typically lost when baking oysters. The garlic breadcrumbs are so good I could eat them on their own, and served on rock salt it makes a very festive and pretty dinner appetizer.

Team Malarkey

Serve them when you couldn’t be happier to have your Daddy in town for the weekend and you get to be first and foremost a daughter.

Baked Oysters with Garlic Breadcrumbs
Adapted from Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen

These were so good we actually rationed out how many we could each have.

1/2 cup Garlic Breadcrumbs

3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped

3 heaping tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly cracked pepper

24 Penn Cove Oysters (Ethan recommends kusshi, but they’re twice the cost of Penn Cove which for this I think are just as good)

Rock Salt

Juice of 1 lemon

Extra-virgin olive oil.

  1. Pre-heat the boiler on the lowest setting.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs with the garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper.
  3. Shuck the oysters over a bowl to catch the liquid. Discard the top shells. Put an inch or so of rock salt in a 9×12 baking dish. Stabilize the bottom shells in the rock salt and return the shucked oysters to that shell.
  4. Strain the reserved oyster liquid through a strainer and add the lemon juice. Divide the liquid among the oysters.
  5. Sprinkle the oysters very liberally with the breadcrumb mixture and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.

Garlic Breadcrumbs

1/2 pound stale bread, sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed with a knife

Kosher Salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place the bread slices on a cookie sheet and bake until lightly toasted and dry, 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through. While the bread toasts, place the olive oil and garlic in a saute plan and set over low heat. Cook gently, allowing the garlic to infuse the oil.
  3. When the bread slices are toasted, place in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the crumbs to the garlic oil and stir gently until coated. Season to taste with salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the oil is absorbed. Remove the garlic cloves. Will keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.
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Welcome 2011: Oyster Shooters and Oysters on the Half Shell

Oysters on the Half Shell

Oysters on the Half Shell with Tobiko

Happy New Year fearless Shut Up and Cook readers!

First of all, I’d like to say thanks for being here. 2010 was an exciting year for this blog and many new subscribers and readers became a part of the conversation. It’s very fun to realize that it’s not just friends and family reading this (usually who  I’ve bullied into submission), as well as hearing from people all over the world about how food fits into their lives. I hope you all will continue to join the conversation this year.

The start of the New Year is one of my favorite times. Like everyone, I fall prey to the endless optimism and possibilities a clean slate creates. I walk around making lists and grand declarations such as:

  • “I’m definitely going to exercise more this year.”
  • “Sure am planning on drinking less.”
  • “I know! I’m going to write more letters.”
  • “Oh yeah, and I’m going to keep in better touch with my brothers.”

The list of things that one can achieve is endless. The reality of actually achieving all these things is daunting at best. So this year, in a very un-Erina like fashion I’m going to give the lists a break (you can be sure I’ll be archiving them though for future reference) and try to achieve one basic and yet seemingly impossible achievement which is to simply appreciate the moment that I’m in and the opportunities it provides. I am actually able to do this quite well in the kitchen, so hoping to translate that out to other facets of my life.

As a toast to this New Plan for the New Year we brought in 2011 with Oyster Shooters and Oysters on the Half Shell. These little guys definitely require you to be in the moment because if you spend too long thinking about what you’re eating my stomach tends to do a little flip. Make sure you get really fresh oysters from a reputable fish market and don’t try to save pennies with cheap vodka. You don’t need the really fancy stuff but you don’t want it to taint the oysters.

These are very elegant appetizers and a festive treat for any holiday party. Figure 2-3 per person if folks aren’t frequent oyster eaters, 4-6 if they’re fans. And be careful…those shots of vodka go down easy!

What did you make to bring in the New Year?

Oyster Shooters

Oyster Shooters

Oyster Shooters

1 TB cocktail sauce

1 oyster shucked, with accompanying liquid saved (experiment with different kinds of oysters, they offer surprisingly unique flavors)

1 shot vodka, such as Absolut

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

  1. In a small shot glass add cocktail sauce.
  2. With an oyster knife, gently pop open the oyster. This is easiest to do when holding the oyster in a dish towel so that you don’t cut yourself on the shell. Be sure to do it over a bowl so you can reserve the liquid in the oyster. Most people think brute force is required, but really what you’re looking for is a bit of leverage and popping open the oyster at the right spot. Hold the oyster so that its curved shell faces down and its flatter side faces up. Insert an oyster knife between the shells, near the hinge. Warning: Don’t use a nice pairing knife or something for this because odds are it’ll break. Giving the knife a twist, pop open the shell (remember, try to keep the liquid in the shell!) and remove the top shell. Scrape the meat from the top shell into the bottom shell and reserved juices. Be careful no shell fragments are there and if so, simply remove.
  3. Add the oyster and its juices to the shot glass and top with vodka and lemon juice.
  4. Drink in one sip without thinking about it!

Oysters on the Half Shell

1 oyster shucked, liquid saved in bottom shell, top shell discarded (see above for how to)

1/2 tsp hot sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

Sprinkle of tobiko

  1. Add hot sauce, lemon juice and tobiko to half shell with oyster and reserved liquid.
  2. Down the hatch!

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