Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What the Shuck

Or maybe it should be "How to Shuck..." Oysters Rockefeller

Growing up in a family with nine kids and grandma living in the back bedroom, we didn't have much spare room in our house and we really didn't have any spare food. I grew up on some seriously cheap food. I remember having ketchup sandwiches for lunch and more than my share of SPAM . . . and that was a real treat.

Dad caught a lot of our food. I don't mean in the city. No. He went fishing...a LOT. And he hunted for deer, elk and other poor wild animals. Maybe that's why I was a vegetarian for six or seven years of my life.

Anyway, we ate things that Dad was able to dig for, fish for or hunt for. In other words, we ate lots of salmon, trout, and yes...smelt. Plus, we ate what people today think of as expensive food: crab, oysters and clams.

My Dad didn't cook very often but there are a couple things I can remember him making: oyster stew, clam chowder and hamburgers...or maybe they were elk burgers...

But we kids learned how to clean fish at a very young age. But nowadays, I have my hubby help me in the kitchen when it comes to shucking corn...or oysters.

Here's how my husband does it. First he put on some gloves (but even one would do the trick)...just in case he slipped. Then he pulled out a long screwdriver and went to work. We had the oysters sitting in a cold bath...just to wash away some sand and grit.

He slipped the screwdriver into the opening end of the shell and slowly twisted it until it opened. Then he used a butter knife to scrape the oyster out of the shell.

We rinsed the oysters off and chose the best half of the oyster shell to display.

Then we put the oyster back on the half-shell
And then I poured my prepared mixture over the top of the oysters.

I sprinkled some breadcrumbs over the top and baked them at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. If you cook them too long, they become rubbery.

 Here's how they turned out.
And we had some corn on the cob for a few carbs. Plus we had smelt on the side and of course some wine to wash it all down.


4 T butter (melted)
1/4 c onions sauteed on the stove until carmelized
2 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)
1 cup of cooked spinach
2 T parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup red wine

I poured this mixture over the oysters then I sprinkled breadcrumbs over the top and baked on a foil-lined cookie sheet at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.

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