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Grilled Oysters with Bacon and Cayenne Butter


Ingredients:
  • 3 slices hickory-smoked or applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Rock salt
  • 24 freshly shucked oysters, on the half shell

Directions:

  1. Prepare butter compound at least 2 hours ahead of time to give it time to firm.
    1. Cook bacon in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to processor. Add butter, garlic, Italian parsley, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. With machine running, gradually add fresh lemon juice and continue to process until blended.
    2. Place large sheet of waxed paper on work surface. Drop butter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto paper in long log. Using paper as aid, shape butter into 2-inch-diameter log. Wrap to enclose; chill butter until firm, at least 2 hours.
  2. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Spread 1/2-inch-thick layer of rock salt on large rimmed baking sheet. Place baking sheet on grill rack and heat 20 minutes.
  3. Cut twenty-four 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick rounds from cayenne-butter log. Transfer hot baking sheet from grill to heatproof surface. Nestle oysters in hot rock salt. Top each oyster with slice of cayenne butter.
  4. Return baking sheet with oysters to grill. Close grill and cook until butter melts and starts to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Spoon shallow layer of additional rock salt onto each of 6 plates. Nestle 4 grilled oysters in salt on each plate and serve.
Note: The bacon and cayenne butter can be made up to two days ahead of time.
Photo and (Modified) Recipe Credit: Bon Appetit

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