Although you can essentially enjoy the briny bivalve all year round, it's widely known that oysters are best eaten in months that have a letter "R." Oysters are delicious on the half shell, but my favorite way to prepare them is casino-style. Bacon and butter make everything taste better! The best thing about this recipe is that it can be prepared in advance. The herb butter will keep for a couple of days in the fridge, and the bacon can be crisped the night before you plan to serve the oysters. Bake them just before eating. Offer the oysters with sparkling wine and you've got the perfect appetizer. Here's the uncomplicated recipe.
- 4 strips bacon
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup roughly chopped shallots
1/4 cup roughly chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped celery
2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves picked
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 teaspoons lemon zest and juice
1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 dozen large (approximately 4 inches) West Coast oysters on the half shell
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Lay bacon out on a roasting pan in a single layer and bake for 10 minutes until just crispy — remember they will be going back into the oven with the oysters so you don't want to finish the bacon just yet.
- While the bacon is cooking, place the butter, garlic, shallots, bell pepper, celery, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, and chili flakes in a food processor; pulse until well combined, but still has texture. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Remove bacon from oven and cut up into pieces.
- Lay oysters in their half shells out on a large roasting pan in a single layer (you can use rock salt or a sheet of crumpled foil to steady them). Place 1 tablespoon of the casino butter mixture on top of each oyster and place a piece of bacon on each.
- Bake oysters in the hot oven until bubbly, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Finish with finely chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley and serve.
- Seafood, Appetizers
- North American