Grilled Jalapeno Oysters with Char-grilled Lemon
One of my favorite things to grill when we have some friends over, is oysters. Oysters raw is just a delicious treat by itself, but I love the ability to take something so simple and delicious and take it up a notch…..or five! Oysters are a great blank canvas to build so many different flavors with, and can be used as an appetizer to most any type of cuisine you are cooking, and hey, they even come with their very own serving dish! What more can you ask for?!
The best thing about oysters is that the majority of the work for these can be done ahead of time as the cook time is so quick that you can get them ready to eat almost immediately when company arrives. Note however that oysters are ready to eat right when you open the shell so don’t over cook them, you want them too just warm through. Cooking them in their shell really helps to protect them from the heat so they don’t overcook.
First thing you’re going to want to do is get a small bowl to add the shucked oysters too. You will need a good thick towel and a oyster shucking knife. These knives don’t have a sharp edge so they don’t cut you, but they do have a pointed edge that if not respected could be dangerous. Take the oyster and place it on the towel and cover with the other side of the towel, you’re basically making a towel envelope here. You want the hinge pointed out of the towel as this is where you’re going to place the shucking knife. Push the knife into the hinge until you feel it break through the seal. Now twist the knife and slide it down the seal of the oyster cutting the muscle and allowing the oyster to open. Pour the oyster liquor and the oyster itself into the bowl. Save the half that is deeper and bowl shaped. Repeat these steps for the other 11 oysters.
Now you will need to clean the oyster shells that you have saved to make sure there is no grit left in them from the shucking. After they are cleaned place on a sheet tray and add the oysters back into each shell, with a small dose of the liquor from the bowl, about 1 tsp for each shell. Now add 1 tbsp of the clarified butter to each oyster. Be sure to spread this around the shell as you want some on the oyster for sure, but also make sure you get some around the edges. Getting some of the butter around the edges allows for the fire to help get that chargrilled flavor you are looking for. Now place 1 slice of jalapeno on top of each oyster.
At this point you will want to add the lemons to the grill, cut side down. The oysters are going to cook quick, even quicker than the lemons so make sure you get those down quick, plus the lemons can handle the heat longer. Now top each oyster with the cheese, Monterey & Colby Jack first then with the Parmesan Reggiano. Place each oyster over direct heat and let cook about 1 minute. The oyster shells are good at protecting the oysters from over cooking so don’t fret to hard bout too much heat getting to the oysters, but make sure you stick to the cook times.
After hitting the 1-minute mark of cooking on the oysters, turn each lemon about 90 degrees to make sure all parts are getting cooked. Start taking your clarified butter and spooning it over each shell being sure to hit the edges so that the butter drips down to the flames and causes them to flame up over each shell. This is where you will get some good, chargrilled flavor. Watch the oysters and as you start seeing the cheese and butter bubble then you know its time to pull each shell. As each comes to this point pull from the heat and let sit until all other shells are off the grill.
Now that you have all the shells from the grill, remove all the lemons and each should be good and charred which is really going to make them full of juice and take a whole other flavor. Top each oyster with a bit of the green onion then take each lemon and squeeze a little over the oysters. I like to add each oyster onto a cracker and then top with a little hot sauce for a kick but this is totally up to you how you dress your oysters. Either way these oysters are a fantastic starter to any meal you are planning so eat up and enjoy!
Grilled Jalapeno Oysters with Char-grilled Lemon
- 12 Live Oysters shucked
- 1 cup Clarified butter
- 1 cup Monterey Jack/Colby Jack cheese combo shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese shredded
- 12 slices Pickled jalapeno
- 1/4 cup Green onions chopped
- 6 Lemons halved
- 6 tsp Hot sauce optional
- Crackers optional
- – Set grill to 500° & start cleaning the shells that will be used to assemble the oysters
- – Take the clean shells & place 1 oyster in each shell along with a small portion of the liquor
- – Add 1 tbsp. of butter to each oyster shell
- – Place the lemon halves on the grill, cut side down
- – Add one slice of jalapeno to each oyster and top with the cheese, Mont/Colby Jack first then the Parmesan
- – Place oysters directly over the heat and let cook; about 1 minutes
- – Start spooning some of the butter over the oysters letting it drip over the edges to cause the grill to flame up over the oysters
- – Turn the lemons about 90 degrees and continue cooking
- – When the butter and cheese start to bubble pull each oyster off the grill
- – Remove lemons and set on the tray with the oysters
- – Top each oyster shell with the green onions and squeeze some lemon over the top
- – Can server on a cracker and add hot sauce to give it a bit more spice