I love oysters, and I think the best ones I ever had were in California at Hog Island, where we ate them right after they were pulled from the cold water. We can’t get them quite like that here in NY, but these are pretty close to being that good. If you’re not a master shucker, these make it much easier to open them as well because the cooking helps to pop them open. The spicy mignonette-like sauce is a great foil for the salty oysters.
Grilled (or Baked) Oysters
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon parsley, minced
Place the oysters on a grill or a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven with the flatter side up. Meanwhile, combine the shallot, garlic, chili flakes and olive oil in a small saucepan. Cook for a few minutes until the shallot softens. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Remove from the heat.
Once the oysters start opening or losing some of their liquid, remove from the grill or oven. Hold each oyster in a towel or with an oven mitt (be careful because the oyster and the liquid inside is very hot), and slide a knife in the opening. If you have trouble finding an opening, try the hinge end of the oyster. Once you have the knife in the opening, twist the knife to pop the top off without pushing forward. Be careful not to get pieces of shell in the oysters or to lose too much of the liquid.
Serve the oysters with the sauce in a ramekin or drizzled on the oysters.