Oyster shucking at home and chargrilled oyster recipe

Oysters are amazingly delicious, but not easy to get in to. It can be intimidating to open an oyster, particularly after seeing the professionals use special chain-mail oyster-shucking glove and knife. After our jaunt to New Orleans in March, we decided not to be intimidated by oyster opening anymore. Plus, we really wanted to recreate the chargrilled oyster recipe from Acme Oyster house.

What you’ll need: An oven mitt, a flat-head screwdriver and a pairing knife serve as a low-cost alternative to the traditional tools.

First set the Oyster  flat side up.  Second, near the hinge, insert the flathead screwdriver between the shells. Then twist to pop the oyster open.IMG_0360

It might take a few tries. IMG_0359

Use the screwdriver to twist and pry the oyster all the way around if it doesn’t just pop open. IMG_0358 IMG_0361 IMG_0362

Eventually, you’ll see the oyster flesh. IMG_0363

Scrape the oyster from the top shell. Then lift the top completely off. Take the pairing knife and release the oyster from the bottom shell. Now, you’re ready to move on to the recipe.

For the Chargrilled oysters we adapted this recipe from Food.com to mimic the dish we had at Acme Oyster house.

Ingredients:
12 fresh shucked oysters, on the half shell (we found these whole at Lucky’s in our town)
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
10 garlic cloves, pureed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
1 ounce white wine
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

Directions:
Place in a baking dish (we used a pie pan) filled with ice cream salt (to keep the oysters steady) with the meat up. Melt half the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add your lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, green onions and all herbs and seasonings. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, and then stir in the wine. Keep stirring and remove from heat as soon as the green onions wilt. Let cool for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rest of the butter and stir until completely incorporated.  Heat grill to 350 degrees and place oysters without the sauce on grill.
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When the oyster liquor starts to bubble, spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce on top of each, then top with 1 tablespoon of Romano cheese. Let the cheese melt. When oysters begin to slightly brown at the edges, remove from grill and place on a heat proof plate or tray.  Top each oyster with an additional tablespoon of the butter sauce and serve immediately with slices of French bread for dipping. Garnish with minced Parsley. Serve while still sizzling with Lemon wedges and fresh bread.

Note: It stormed the day we made this and there was no way we were going to grill, so we just made use of the broiler on high in our oven. It worked perfectly. Just make sure to keep an eye on the dish while it is under the broiler, you can go from perfect to burnt pretty quickly.

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My opinion:
The only thing missing was the family-style tables and neon signs.

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Oyster shucking at home and chargrilled oyster recipe
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Langlois Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Green Pepper

 

On a recent visit to New Orleans, J and I got to take a cooking class at the amazing Langlois Culinary Crossroads. The very appropriate slogan is “decadent with no apologies” and that proved more than true during our class. We made several wonderful dishes, including an Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Artichoke. Unfortunately, the artichokes at home, didn’t quite look as good. Luckily, Chef Amy told us about 15 ways to use the same stuffing/dressing and we improvised stuffing a green pepper instead.

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Langlois Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Green Pepper
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Ingredients
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Instructions
  1. If not using pre-made cornbread, bake the cornbread according to package instructions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the andouille until browned.
  3. Then add the onions, bell pepper and celery (the holy trinity) and the garlic until the vegetables are wilted. Add the pinches of Emeril's essence cajun seasoning to taste. You want it to be a little red. That's from the paprika, not the cayenne, so don't panic. Remove from heat and add cornbread, parsley and green onions.
  4. Mix well and allow to cool. Add the cheese and mix again. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add chicken stock a little at a time to make it more like a dough (it should stick together). Stuff the peppers and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

My opinion:
I love this super filling dish. It is light enough for a summer meal, but surprisingly filling. Plus, if you have left over mix, Chef Amy suggests freezing it in patties for a nice side dish.

Korean Short Rib Tacos

http://garbosgrillkw.com
photo from: http://garbosgrillkw.com

We made these the other night for dinner and they were amazing. J and I fell in love with the Kogi Korean BBQ  tacos at Garbo’s Grill in Key West this summer. This recipe from Food for My Family is really close and with a few tweaks, we won’t have to trek to Key West every time we crave this dish.

Ingredients:
3 pounds flank-style beef short ribs (We actually used about 2 pounds of short ribs because they were on sale!)
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup mirin
1/4 cup sesame oil
6 cloves garlic (we used a bit more than six cloves)
6 scallions
2 teaspoons fresh peeled ginger (we used grated)

Slaw ingredients:
3 cups Napa cabbage, chopped (we shredded it)
1 cup daikon, diced into matchsticks (in case you’re wondering, like I was, this is a root vegetable and kind of tastes like a radish)
1 cup bean sprouts (If you can’t find this, don’t worry we left the out and it still tasted great!)
6 scallions, diced
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sriracha or chili pepper sauce (or more if you like it spicy!)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Other ingredients:
10-15 yellow corn tortillas (we used flour because it was what we had on hand)
sriracha sauce

Directions:
Begin by cutting off excess fat from the short ribs. You can also remove the membrane under the bone side of the rib. (We just removed the bones because we were hungry and in a hurry.) Place in a zip-top bag.
In a food processor, blend together soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, sesame oil, garlic, scallions and ginger. Reserve 1/2 cup of sauce and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Pour the rest of the sauce over the short ribs, ensuring all ribs are covered. Seal tightly and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Longer is better, but you should let them marinate for at least 3 hours.

To prepare the slaw: Place shredded Napa cabbage, shredded daikon (use your food processor, otherwise you’ll be cutting forever!), spouts, scallions and cilantro together in a medium to large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, soy sauce, mirin and sriracha. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.

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The original recipe called for reducing the extra marinade ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick. Place in a serving bowl to drizzle on tacos. We thought this made it too salty. Next time, we won’t reduce it. But this is what it looks like reduced.
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Heat a pan over high heat. (Or like the original recipe suggests, heat a grill to at least 550 degrees). The intent here is to flash cook the meat while simultaneously caramelizing the marinade. Place your short ribs on the grill. Cook for three minutes and flip. Cook an additional three minutes, wrap in foil and set aside.
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Cut short ribs into strips, avoiding the bones. Assemble your Korean tacos:  tortilla, barbecued short ribs, a drizzle of Korean barbecue sauce, Napa cabbage slaw and extra sriracha to match your tastes. Serve immediately.

My opinion: It was so good, I didn’t get a photo of the completed dish. Next time!

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Jamaican Jerk Chicken

I’ll admit I was skeptical about this recipe. But after one bite, I wasn’t skeptical at all. It was deliciously flavorful and less labor intensive than we thought it would be. Warning: it’s pretty filling.

Ingredients:
1 tb Ground allspice
1 tb Dried thyme
1 1/2 ts Cayenne pepper
1 1/2 ts Black Pepper freshly ground
1 1/2 ts Ground sage
3/4 ts Ground nutmeg
3/4 ts Ground cinnamon
2 tb Salt
2 tb Garlic powder
1 tb Sugar
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c Soy sauce
3/4 c White vinegar
1/2 c Orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, Seeded and finely chopped (if you can’t find this, feel free to use a habanero)
1 c white onion Chopped
3 Green onions finely chopped
4 6-oz Chicken breasts Trimmed of fat, up to 8-oz each

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, garlic powder and sugar. With a wire whisk, slowly add olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice and lime  juice. Add the Scotch bonnet pepper (we used habaneros since we couldn’t find Scotch Bonnet), onion and green onions and mix well. Reserve about a cup or so of the marinade to use later. Add the chicken breasts, cover and marinate for at least an hour, but the longer the better! Remove the breasts from the marinade and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you prefer a sear, turn on the broiler and broil each side first for a few minutes and then bake. Or if you prefer, fire up the grill and cook for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. While grilling or baking, baste with the left over marinade. Heat the rest of the leftover marinade and serve on the side for dipping (we just did this on the stove). If you prefer more intense flavors, feel free to double the spices.

My opinion:
Even without doubling the spices, this was plenty hot. It was the right combination of sweet and spicy and the chicken was very moist. We will try this on the grill next time! The rice and slaw will be in another post. I”m having trouble locating the original recipes to link back to at the moment.

Japanese hibachi style fried rice

Japanese Hibachi style rice

After a recent trip to our local Hibachi grill, we realized that copying the food at home wouldn’t be that difficult. So after a quick internet search, we found exactly what we were looking for the fried rice recipe.

Ingredients:
4 cups White Rice, short-grained, cooked
1 cup Green Peas
2 tbsp Carrot, shredded (we ended up using about one and a half small carrots)
2 eggs
one Onion, diced
bunch of scallions, diced
1 1/2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Soy Sauce

Directions.
The Rice: Cook rice according to package directions. Put in bowl and place in refrigerator to cool while getting the rest of the ingredients together. Eggs: Scramble the eggs in a small pan over medium heat. Separate the scrambled chunks of egg into small pea-size bits while cooking. When rice has cooled to near room temperature, add peas, shredded carrot, scrambled egg and diced onion to the bowl. Dump the bowl of rice into the pan with the eggs. Slowly add soy sauce plus a dash of salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Cook rice for 6-8 minutes over heat, stirring often. (We actually only cooked it for about another 5. This will depend on the Wok you are using and how hot your stove top gets.) Serve immediately.

My opinion:
I love this rice. It’s simple and filling enough to eat as a meal by itself.