April 13, 2018Make Oysters Your World This Summer


Contact: Mike Hutt
Virginia Marine Products Board
Tel: 757-874-3474
Fax: 757-886-0671
E-mail: mhutt@vaseafood.org

Make Oysters Your World This Summer

The world may not be your oyster, but you can certainly make oysters a big part of your world—especially this summer when they’re just as fresh and flavorful as they are in the winter.

The lore about eating oysters only during months with an “r” in them is simply that—lore. It harkens from pre-refrigeration days when the cold weather was the only way to preserve seafood during shipment. But in these days one’s enjoyment of exotic foods is certainly not limited by the seasons.

And you don’t skimp on flavor, either. Summer oysters, while sometimes leaner than winter ones, are just as tasty. And the warmer months offer some opportunities for seasonal preparation methods and fresh ingredients that can give summer oyster recipes the edge.

For instance, what could be easier than cooking oysters on the grill? Just heat up the coals and set them on the grate—they’ll even cooperate by opening their shells when they’re done! Or try charcoal cooking to bring out the best in oyster brochettes using Virginia oysters.

Fried Virginia Oysters with Collard Slaw and Crème Fraiche
Cowboy Sid’s, Newport News, VA

  • 1 1/2 pints shucked oysters
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • peanut oil for frying

Mix meal, flour and seasonings together for dredge.

Collard Slaw

  • 6 collard leaves, cut into chiffanode*
  • 1/2 head white cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons black seedy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt and pepper

Mix this together and let set in refrigerator at least 1 hour.
*Cut into ribbons.

Crème Fraiche

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 ounces buttermilk
  • 1/2 ounce fresh orange juice

Mix all together and let stand overnight.

To assemble: Toss oysters in the dredge to coat them lightly and fry them in hot peanut oil quickly so as to get crisp on the outside and still moist inside. Place on the slaw and place the crème fraiche on the side. Serve with pickled okra and deviled eggs.

Serves 6
Total calories per serving: 407
Percentage of calories from protein: 7
Percentage of calories from Carbohydrates: 16
Percentage of calories from fat: 75
Percentage of calories from saturated Fat: 29

Grilled Oyster Brochettes

  • 16 oysters
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • spice mixture (1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 16 mushroom caps
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 4 lemon wedges (optional)

Spice mixture: Combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 ground white pepper, 1/4 ground red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (enough for 4 brochettes). Drain oysters and sprinkle with lemon juice and the spice mixture. Using a skewer, place a mushroom cap on the end, then the end of the bacon strip, then the pepper square, then an oyster, then wrap the bacon around the oyster and pepper and onto the skewer again. Continue alternating as above. Brush with butter and broil over charcoal for 4 to 6 minutes, turning twice. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedge if desired. Serves 4

Note: Cooked brochettes can be served on frankfurter buns if desired. Brochettes may also be broiled in oven about 4 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes.

Total calories per serving: 129
Percentage of calories from protein: 24
Percentage of calories from carbohydrates: 18
Percentage of calories from fat: 56
Percentage of calories from saturated fat: 22