It took me years to like oysters, then, on a February day in 1998 in Dallas, I tried a raw oyster and realized they are a great thing! From there, I typically have only had oysters raw or as an ingredient in things like Pappadeaux’s Fondeaux. I wanted to change that, though, so I recently grabbed a few at a local market to try on the grill.
As a griller/barbecuer, I tend to like big flavors. Let’s face it… many of us that are into the whole cooking with fire like big, bold flavors. In thinking of how to fix the oysters, I went to one of my favorite big flavors, Scotch whisky. Even in the world of whisky, there are mild whiskies and big whiskies. I chose one of the biggest, Ardbeg 10-year-old, from the island of Islay (pronounced I-la, not I-lay). It’s salty, medicinal, iodine-y, and very peaty. It’s just good stuff.
As a base for the whisky, I browned some butter, then added the whisky to the browned butter, being careful not to let the butter bubble over in the pan. I added an herb I think goes great with whisky, tarragon, and a touch of salt and pepper.
I don’t have a shucking knife, so I just put the oysters in the shell right on the grate of the grill for a couple of minutes, until the oysters decided to open up a bit. The shells have a flat side and a rounded side; I removed the flat side with a paring knife and put the oysters back on the grate in the rounded half, just off to the side of the direct fire. I added the butter/whisky/tarragon, and topped each with some bleu d’Auvergne cheese. The lid was closed on the grill for about 5 minutes (with the grill in the 400-450F range), then the oysters went to my plate.
I want to play around with more oyster recipes… so share if you have any for the grill, but this recipe is a keeper in my book! I hope you try it and enjoy. I did!