Saturday, May 21, 2011

Maine Seafood In Tennessee

When we were buying our seafood in Portland, ME (another post coming about this in a few days), we specifically bought 2 dozen oysters to grill for our first night home - even though Bev was ready for something besides seafood she agreed to humor me. I sampled a couple when buying and found them to be much brinier than their southern cousins and according to the fish monger it’s due to the colder waters they grow in.

While there, I also bought an oyster knife and got a lesson in opening them - here's the first 8 and that's a 11"x17" jelly roll pan under the cutting board, they were big.

After scrubbing them well, I opened about 17 in the time it took me to do a couple without the oyster knife – you need this tool for this job. As you can see only 12 made it to the tray for cooking – one more after the picture - and the others were for the cook. Not being used to the saltiness and knowing I was using salted butter, I gave them a quick rinse.

I mixed up a batch of our usual garlic butter, fired up the charcoal grill, and proceeded with opening.  In the meantime Bev sauteed some spinach from the garden with some garlic and parmesan and cleaned a head of romaine and a green onion – also from the garden.  When open, they got topped with the garlic butter and grated parmesan or the spinach.

I started the oysters on the charcoal grill but was too anxious and didn’t get the fire hot enough, so I moved them to the gas grill – Bev commented that the charcoal fire wasn’t hot enough to do Smores – ouch.  Here they are on the gas grill.  One of the keys to flavor is for the butter to bubble over, and create smoke when it hits the fire, so fill them up with it.

When I put them on the gasser, I added the onion, and I had already wilted the romaine over the charcoal. I’ve said this previously but after eating char-grilled oysters in two famous restaurants and being served little cooked-to-death nuggets, I’ve learned to take them off after the butter boils for a couple of minutes. This way they are cooked through, but still succulent, tender, and absolutely delicious – the quick rinse worked perfectly for salt control.

Bev split the romaine and added some Caesar dressing with the chopped, grilled green onion tops and parmesan and it was also equally delicious. Here’s Bev’s plate with the first round of oysters.

And the final part was the Italian bread dipped in the butter left in the shells. And even though Bev was fished out – she sat here talking about how good they were – and we’ve got 7-8 more for tomorrow.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago:  A Short Road Trip To Oak Ridge



  1. That looks killer! We used to eat clams on the grill down in Florida with Grandpa. We just put em on the grill and when they popped open they were done!

  2. Love the tip about the butter spilling over to make the smoke. And as far as grilled romaine is that one of my favorites. Great post Larry.

  3. mmmmmmmmmm. I love oysters anyway I can get them! Those looks so good.

  4. My son would love these, he is the oyster eater in the family.

  5. Mmm, these look like Blue Point Oysters, which are THE BEST in the world!

    So happy you enjoyed your trip to my neck of the woods!

  6. Please pass the plate, love those oysters!

  7. Oh man, I can just imagine the bread dipped in that oyster goodness!

  8. Beautiful, Larry. I can only imagine how delicious that was.


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