What is it about going to the beach that makes you crave seafood? It’s not like I can’t get it here in Birmingham. Now days you can get seafood that was once flipping its fins in the Gulf just yesterday to be delivered and on my plate the next. But it’s just not the same, I guess I can see and smell the place where they once lived. The perfect definition of “eating local”. Well, I just returned from Gulf Shores and one of my favorites is raw oysters. Yes, I once feared these (I won’t be gross) umm, gelatinous nuggets from the sea. I eventually grew to like them, they are a staple of my visiting fare.
The great thing about living in Alabama, we have some of the best oysters in the U.S. Apalachicola Oysters are award-winning and I have to agree that they deserve the accolades. Check out what Gun and Garden said about them. While shopping at my new favorite seafood shop – Crestline Seafood Company – I saw they had a dozen of Apalachicola oysters for $10. Pretty cheap and they shucked them for me (thank goodness). Since Ray, who says he is allergic to seafood, was away on business, my friend Jamie and I decide to indulge and make some broiled oysters, and boy am I glad we did. This ultra simple topping is crisp, flavorful and oh so good. Let me show you how we did it.
Broiled Oysters with Garlic-Parmesan Topping
6 Fresh-shucked, oysters on the half shell
1/3 cup plan bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried parsley (I forgot to buy fresh)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Pre-heat your oven’s broiler. On a sheet pan, take a large sheet of aluminum foil and crinkle it up to make a bed for the oysters – kind of like an oyster tanning bed. Place the 6 oysters on the foil.
In a small bowl, place the bread crumbs, butter, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese with the parsley.
Squeeze with the lemon over the oysters and place the pan under the broiler for approx. 2 to 3 minutes. Remove. Top each oyster with a helping of the bread crumb mixture. Then top each oyster with the remaining parmesan cheese and parsley mixture.
Place under the broiler for 1 minute or until the topping is brown and crisp. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Want a More Flavor?
Add a couple of drops of Tabasco or Texas Pete to the oysters before adding the topping for a little kick.
Take advantage of “eating locally” and try these Alabama gems. Fresh and good for you – just avoid those months with no “R”. Hope you find a pearl!