Have you ever shucked an oyster? Lol, not a very common question to be asked. A few days ago, my friend came over and brought some oysters to grill. I was very excited about the prospect until I opened the bag and realized that they were still fully closed!! As much as I love oysters (basically eat them every week), I had never actually shucked an oyster before.
I’d by lying if I said I was undaunted, but I didn’t want to shy away from the challenge. I quickly recalled that a few months ago, my hubby and I were on a date night at Merchant Oyster, and I expressed my curiosity about the process and the chef was so kind enough to educate us about it. So I grabbed one of the rough, rock-hard, nearly-impossible-to-open shell and got to work. In round one, the oyster may have won, but eventually it was much easier than I had anticipated. Once you get the hang of it, you can enjoy fresh oysters in the comfort of your home.
A few quick tips and pointers to remember:
- Wrap a kitchen towel over one hand and use it to hold the oyster firmly or you can use Oyster Gloves.
- Using an oyster shucking knife in the other hand, place the tip of the shucking knife at the base of the hinge, twist the knife using pressure, then without the pressure, lever the knife upwards, or twist it to pry the hinge open.
- Slide the knife under the top shell to release the oyster and remove the shell.
Once you have your oysters on the half shell the rest is a breeze. They can be served raw or grilled as a appetizer. Oysters are high in calcium, iron, and protein. Admittedly, they’re not for everyone, but adventurous humans the world over have enjoyed oysters, raw and cooked, for thousands of years.
This recipe is my easy alternative to an Oyster Rockefeller. A traditional Rockefeller calls for spinach, but I opted to use a pre-made pesto as a substitute, which is a huge time saver without sacrificing taste. You get all the essential notes of garlic and herbs and the nutty flavor of pinenuts in this version.
|Prep Time:||15 mins|
|Cook Time:||3 mins|
- 2 dozen Oysters
- 1/8 cup pesto sauce
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
Pre-heat broiler to 500°F. Arrange oysters in half shells on a baking sheet. Fill each oyster with 1/8 teaspoon of the pesto sauce, sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese and top with the breadcrumbs. Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 2-3 mins until it starts to bubble and breadcrumbs turn golden. The timing will vary based on oven, so please watch carefully.