Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Parmesan Baked Oysters

When there is a seafood market selling oysters you can bet we will pick up a dozen or two and put them on the menu.  Baked oysters are our preference.  Let me back up . . . that is the ONLY way we will eat them.  Raw oyster lovers will always ask, “have you tried them raw?”  And to that I answer, “why yes I have.” 

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When working as a wildlife biologist in southeast Louisiana (the Mississippi River Delta to be precise) I had the opportunity to go out on an oyster boat and witness firsthand the harvesting process.  It was really quite fascinating.  While oysters were traditionally harvested with large tongs, “dredging’ is the most common harvesting method in Louisiana today.  Dredges are essentially large rakes with a basket pulled along the water bottom that dislodge the oysters from the “bed” and catches them in the basket.  The dredge is hoisted out of the water and the contents are dumped on a sorting table.  Undersized oysters are tossed back and the others will be sold.  The man I was with was very proud of his fishing heritage and would not trade his way of life with anyone.  If you have ever met a commercial fisherman you know this is a common thread. 

After demonstrating and explaining the harvesting process, our host shucked open a few of the briney bivalves and offered tastes as a show of hospitality.  His eyes caught mine and I saw his outstretched arm with a handful of his pride and livelihood in the form of an oyster.  He asked if I had ever tried a raw oyster and convinced me that there was no better oyster to eat than the one freshly dredged from the sea bed eaten on an oyster boat in Louisiana waters.  I obliged.  One second after I accepted his generous, and convincing, offer I was sorry for what my politeness had gotten me into.  My instinct was to spit it out and send it back to the waters from which it came.  But with eyes on me, and the hosts pride to be insulted, I did the best I could to swallow and forget.  The nice fisherman must have noticed my twisted face because he simply said, “maybe you would like them better with Tabasco® and a cold beer.”  Both of which I longed for to cleanse my mouth. 

And so that is the only time I have ever eaten a raw oyster.  Baked from then on.  I still try and keep a cold beer and Tabasco® on hand.

Ingredients

¼ cup butter, softened
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon Cavender’s® Greek Seasoning 
⅔ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 dozen oysters on the half shell

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine butter and next four ingredients.  Evenly distribute butter mixture over oysters.  Sprinkle parmesan over oysters.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and oysters are cooked through. 






10 comments:

  1. I'm thinking you could get a show on the Food Channel displaying all your culinary delights. :cD

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    1. Why thanks. Maybe an RV cooking show sponsored by Prevost... wouldn't want to stop traveling.

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  2. I, too, have only eaten one raw oyster in my life, and the waiter made a good sauce for me so I didn't find it repulsive. Your recipe sounds tasty if someone else would make it for me. ;)

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  3. Personally, I prefer oysters raw - but I always worried about eating them from the warm waters of the Gulf. The ones on the Pacific Coast are exceptional; must be the cold water. But I like them any which way, baked, BBQ'd, steamed, in stew....funny how cold beer makes them taste better!

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  4. I love this blog! I'm not sure if I've commented before but I wanted to stop in briefly to tell you how much I enjoy the commentaries of your wanderings, your recipes and overall thoughts about rv living from your perspective. As an armchair traveler your posts invoke wistful dreams of real travels ahead. Thank you...:-)...Rhonda

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the nice note. Glad you are following along and enjoying our travels.

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  5. I agree with you about raw oysters. I've always thought that folks that like them raw must also be the ones that like the stinkiest cheese or the hottest hot sauce - kind of food as a competitive sport. Anyway, I thought I'd throw a couple more options out there vis-à-vis oyster preparation. I've never actually tried them baked (I will now!) but oyster stew and smoked oysters are two of my all time favorite foods. I'd like to know what you think if you ever have a chance to try them either of these ways.

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