So this post is not so much a traditional recipe as it is a culinary taunt accompanying a product placement!
In our blog post on July 25, we wrote about a wonderful bayside Crawfish boil. With an event like that, or a crab boil or clam bake or even just a trip to the local fishmonger, there may be some seafood left over that needs a good use.
Charbroiled oysters have become something of a craze down in New Orleans, in large part since Drago’s restaurant opened a second location downtown. While you can shuck your own oysters and do this at home, an alternative that we love takes advantage of the most wonderful stainless steel oyster shells:
The steel shells offer a few things that natural oyster shells don’t:
- You can use them for a lot more than just oysters
- They’re small, stackable, and easy to stow in a small galley
- They’re more sanitary than natural shells, particularly for repetitive use
- They’re deep compared to natural shells. On a small boat with a small grill on the transom, that means you can charbroil without having grease spill all over your teak decks(!)
The disadvantage, of course, is that you have to wash them. But in reality, that’s a whole lot more manageable than any alternatives that I know of. Like, well…shucking oysters.
So, out at anchor on the West River, here’s how we charbroiled a pound of frozen crawfish tails that we peeled and picked last month. Your ingredients: 1 lb crawfish tails (or substitute crab, shrimp, oysters, clams, chicken bits, vegetables, or anything else you fancy), about 1/3 cup butter cut into 1/2″ cubes, 4 strips of bacon cut into 1/2″ strips, 4 oz. hard cheese, grated (we generally use either parmesan or manchego), 4 large garlic cloves, minced (I know my fellow pirate loves her press…I’m a devoted mincer).
Now, to watch Captain Peter in action! Start your charcoal grill to pre-heat then sautee the bacon and garlic together in a small pan until the bacon is just barely cooked enough to eat, but not crispy.
Place the shells on the hot grill. Place a large pat of butter in each, then add enough seafood to nearly cover the bottom.
Top with the bacon-garlic mixture, then add grated cheese. Cover and charbroil for maybe 2 minutes on a fairly high fire. The cheese should be completely melted and show some nice color when complete.
Use something like tongs to remove the HOT shells from the grill. And this is when you need to be very careful; the butter is hot and will scald if it splashes on you; never mind that you don’t want that mess on your deck. Also, we use a wooden cutting board to let the shells cool so they don’t melt our plastic dinner ware, or scorch your guests.
Serve and enjoy. Aieeeeee!