Because I’m the biggest brat in the world, when I sent my parents a christmas card, I asked for oysters. To be fair, my mom got a card asking for her specialty cookies, so at least I don’t discriminate between the people who raised me. Anyway, so when I got home, my father had oysters on ice waiting for me.
This post will be the first of a series, called “Captain James Cooks.” My father, Captain James Rosemond, runs a dive charter out of Carteret County, NC. His boat, the lovely vessel Tortuga, is docked on Piver’s Island. You can see his website here. It was my father’s mother, Barbara, who inspired this blog, and there are certain things that he cooks that are just mind-blowing. So the segment will feature the Captain cooking his recipes for us. The name of the segment was inspired by the legendary navigator and cartographer, Captain James Cook. In a beautiful cross over of interests, one of my favorite authors, Tony Horowitz, wrote a book about one of my dad’s heroes, called Blue Latitudes. My dad thought he was really clever when he came up with “Captain James Cooks.”
So about oysters. While you can usually get mussels year round from all over the world, like most things, oysters have a season. Usually, oyster season spans all months that end in “-er.” The season starts around September and lasts through December. Which makes them a prime holiday food. We’re not real fancy with our oysters, and most times you’ll see my dad or brothers eating them right out of the shell, but I prefer them with a little extra. Tabasco sauce is a great topping, as is horseradish. My favorite combination is a saltine with horseradish on it, topped with the oyster and a little hot sauce. Guaranteed to clear your sinuses.
Oysters on the Grill
Source: Captain James Rosemond
A few dozen in-season oysters
Saltines to match
Keep your oysters on ice until you put them on the grill. Heat your grill to 300-400 degrees. Lay the oysters directly onto the grill and close your lid. Check them every five to ten minutes. As soon as the shells open, they’re ready to serve. Use a shucking tool to remove the oyster from the shell, and either eat or slide that sucker onto a saltine.