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Happy as a Clam: Or Baked Oysters with Garlic Breadcrumbs


October 29, 2011

No matter how old we are, it’s good to be kids again. This weekend I’m happy as a clam because my Dad (aka Big Tim) is visiting from New England. In a family as big (and admittedly self-congratulatory) as The Malarkeys someone is always having a birthday, graduation, bon voyage party, welcome home party. You name it…we’ve celebrated it. Tomorrow we’ll be raising our glasses to toast Topher’s Birthday at Dinette. Before we do though, there have of course been multiple family dinners and meals to be had.

One of the things I love about cooking with my Dad is that if it’s possible he loves meal planning, and cooking, and talking about food, and brainstorming over the next feast almost more than I do. Yesterday we went to three grocery stores to get all the goodies for a delicious dinner of Cider Braised Pork Shoulder, Homemade Biscuits, Steamed Broccoli, and Tim’s very own gingerbread cake that was out of this world.

Big T Baking up a Storm in the Kitchen

To start though we had absolutely delicious baked oysters from Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen cookbook. I’ve been wanting to make these for a while and they didn’t disappoint. The reserved oyster and lemon juice helps keep the flavor typically lost when baking oysters. The garlic breadcrumbs are so good I could eat them on their own, and served on rock salt it makes a very festive and pretty dinner appetizer.

Team Malarkey

Serve them when you couldn’t be happier to have your Daddy in town for the weekend and you get to be first and foremost a daughter.

Baked Oysters with Garlic Breadcrumbs
Adapted from Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen

These were so good we actually rationed out how many we could each have.

1/2 cup Garlic Breadcrumbs

3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped

3 heaping tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly cracked pepper

24 Penn Cove Oysters (Ethan recommends kusshi, but they’re twice the cost of Penn Cove which for this I think are just as good)

Rock Salt

Juice of 1 lemon

Extra-virgin olive oil.

  1. Pre-heat the boiler on the lowest setting.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs with the garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper.
  3. Shuck the oysters over a bowl to catch the liquid. Discard the top shells. Put an inch or so of rock salt in a 9×12 baking dish. Stabilize the bottom shells in the rock salt and return the shucked oysters to that shell.
  4. Strain the reserved oyster liquid through a strainer and add the lemon juice. Divide the liquid among the oysters.
  5. Sprinkle the oysters very liberally with the breadcrumb mixture and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately.

Garlic Breadcrumbs

1/2 pound stale bread, sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, smashed with a knife

Kosher Salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place the bread slices on a cookie sheet and bake until lightly toasted and dry, 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through. While the bread toasts, place the olive oil and garlic in a saute plan and set over low heat. Cook gently, allowing the garlic to infuse the oil.
  3. When the bread slices are toasted, place in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the crumbs to the garlic oil and stir gently until coated. Season to taste with salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the oil is absorbed. Remove the garlic cloves. Will keep in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.

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  1. […] Appetizer: Baked Oysters with Garlic Breadcrumbs […]

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