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Grilled Oysters

I love grilled oysters. My Grampy would turn on the grill after we pulled some out of the strait. Garlic butter and crunchy bread crumbs with splashes of Tabasco are an unstoppable combination with the creamy, salty oysters. The butter will drip down your hands all the way to your elbows. As kids, my brothers and I loved seeing how much Tabasco we could splash on these bad boys. Or how many lemon wedges we could suck. Dad would always bet us to drink hot sauce, suck on a lemon, or eat wasabi for a dollar. My older brother Stephen was the king of wasabi. I just liked eating oysters.

Serves: As many as you want; it depends on your haul from the ocean or your fishmonger. Let’s say this is for 4 friends
Prep time: 30 minutes.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 24 large oysters
  • 1 pound (4 sticks/455 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 bunch tarragon, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette
  • Olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zested and cut into wedges
  • 1 pound (455 g) rock salt
  • 1 bottle Tabasco sauce

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F(205°C). Heat a grill to medium-high. Shuck the oysters by draining off the liquid and saving the meat. Place the oysters back in the shells, on a tray; put a wet towel over them and refrigerate.
  2. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, mix the butter on low so it doesn’t fly everywhere. Add the tarragon, onions, garlic, and half of the parsley and mix until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. Cut the baguette in half crosswise, then into quarters lengthwise to make 8 strips of bread. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan and roast in the oven until dark golden brown and nice and crunchy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the bread has cooled, break it into pieces and place in a food processor; blitz on pulse. You don’t want dust; you want beautiful crumbs. Place the bread crumbs in a bowl lined with paper towel and add the lemon zest.
  5. Remove the oysters from the fridge and spoon the herb butter into the shells. Push the butter down and scrape the top flat. Once you’ve filled all the oysters, you’re ready for the grill.
  6. Place the oysters on the grill and close the lid. Once they start bubbling away, after 1 to 2 minutes, add a little bread crumb pile to each one. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  7. Line a plate with rock salt (so the oysters don’t spill). Place the oysters on the plate. Add the lemon wedges to the plate, get your bottle of Tabasco, and garnish with the remaining parsley.
  8. Be careful not to burn your mouth on these puppies. They are uncompromising little heat bombs.

Recipe excerpted from Matty Matheson A Cookbook’