For anyone hesitant to the taste or texture of raw, cold oysters, grilled oysters are the perfect alternative. If you and your guest are already oyster fans, grilled oysters are a nice variation to the traditional raw.
Luscious, warm and bursting with flavor, these buttery goodies can be cooked to taste. Just slightly warmed or grilled until the topping caramelize and the edges char, the already infused butter will blend with the juicy flavors of the ocean creating an irresistibly tasty mouthful.
grilled oysters with bacon, chili and salvia
15-25 medium to large oysters
6 oz finely chopped bacon
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
5 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chili pepper + some thinly sliced for garnishing (choose a mild-hot variety to taste)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh salvia
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice + lemon wedges for serving
Fry the chopped bacon pieces, drain and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter on medium heat in a small frying pan and add minced garlic and chopped chili. Slowly fry while stirring for just a minute or two until the garlic turns a very light golden tan.
Turn the heat down to very low, just enough to keep warm, and add the remaining butter, bacon, salvia and lemon juice. Stir until the butter melts and leave on the stove until ready to use.
Clean and chuck the oysters, discarding the flatter top. Carefully cut under the oyster meat to completely release it from the shell while leaving as much oyster juice as possible. Leave on ice until the grill is hot enough to use.
Place the oysters on a very hot grill and spoon over the infused butter making sure to add some bacon-herb mixture to each shell.
Close the grill and cook for 1-4 minutes. It’s not possible to undercook the oysters but make sure not to overcook them. The oysters are warm and delicious after just 1 minute or two, and after about 4 minutes they will start to shrink, slightly curling the edges, and the butter will start to caramelize.
Check and leave in for another couple of minutes if needed or remove from the grill.
Add a touch more hot infused butter and a squeeze of lemon juice over the top. Garnish with thinly sliced fresh chili pepper.
Photography by Philip Blankenship.