Grilled Cape Neddick Oysters

This recipe has easily become one of my favorite summer appetizers. In it's entirety, it takes under fifteen minutes from start to finish. These Oysters are extremely versatile and can be paired with a variety of sauces and mignonettes, or left entirely on their own.

 

Cape Neddick Oysters, otherwise known as Blue Point Oysters, can be found along the Atlantic shore from Maine all the way to Virginia.  It is believed that the only true Blue Point Oysters originated in Blue Point, New York around 1815, and these creatures quickly became famous for their robust and "wild" flavor. 

Flavor Profile: smooth and full meat with a mild to medium salinity. (Flavor of the oysters is greatly affected by time of year, temperature, water quality as well as other environmental factors) Depending on where the oysters come from can effect salinity level as well as shell integrity, shape and size.

 
He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.
— Jonathan Swift

Ingredients

  • 1 Dozen Blue Point Cape Neddick Oysters 

Preparation

Carefully wash the oysters. You can do this by running them under cold water and using a bristled brush to remove any debris. Once they have been washed, leave them in your strainer for a few minutes to make sure any excess water has drained off.

Heat your outdoor or stovetop grill to medium high heat. Place the oysters directly on the grill grate. Once you see the shells open slightly, remove them immediately. (this takes around two to four minutes depending on the size of the oyster.) When removing the oysters, make sure to keep them upright, you want to retain as much of the natural brine as possible. This is key for keeping their original flavor profile and making sure they are not too dried out. Also- if any of the oysters do not open, make sure to discard them.

Once all of the oysters are done cooking, use a kitchen towel and an oyster knife to open them. Using your kitchen towel as a pot holder, grab around the hinge of the oyster. Run the blade of your knife through the top and bottom shells, taking care to loosen the meat of the oyster located in the center of the top shell. Once you reach the hinge, use your knife and towel to pry open. It should be relatively easy. Discard the tops of the shells. Serve the oysters with your choice of sauces, mignonettes, or herb butters. They are also wonderful with some fresh lemon juice or hot sauce.

*note* we made a paste of kosher salt and water to place under each of the oysters to hold them steady.