Best New Orleans style Charbroiled Oysters recipe!
The first time Chef Chuck ever made it to New Orleans was a serious awakening of the food senses. There are just so many amazing places to get a meal in the area it was hard to understand why so many towns throughout the country were complacent with less than incredible meals. In New Orleans you can find food in most gas stations that competes with food from restaurants in other towns and cities in the United States. One of the best items from that first trip though, was the charbroiled oysters from Drago's in Metairie.
Drago's is an institution with multiple historic locations around the area, but we wanted to avoid the wild atmosphere of the French Quarter on this specific instance and hit the Metairie location. Chuck has had oysters in many ways before, but never this exact mix of seasonings, butter, and open flame that truly take these over the top. This may not be an exact recipe for the amazing bites at Drago's, but Chuck has done what he can with his palette to get as close as possible.
First you'll need yourself some fresh oysters! This could make creating this recipe in a majorly landlocked state a bit of a hassle, but there are many companies if you're willing to pay top dollar that will ship them overnight and have them still fresh as they hit your door. We have done this in Pennsylvania before not only with oysters but also gulf shrimp and live crawfish. If your oysters are separated in any way (not a full seal of the shell all around), do not use them. You want them to be alive when you open them up.
I believe the easiest way to make sure your oysters are fully cleaned is to get a new toothbrush (any dollar store one will work) with medium to hard bristles and to scrub around the closure of the shells and all around the outsides with cold water. Even if the dirt and sediment is not necessarily near the shell's connection, you still want to clean it off as well as possible so that there is no chance you'll be chewing on the stuff this guy used to live in.
Using a towel (as seen in the video) you'll want to protect your hand that is holding the oyster by wrapping the oyster in case your knife slips. Oftentimes they will give you a bit of a fight and putting that extra leverage into opening the shell can cause the knife to slip off and dive at serious speeds towards that other hand. The towel has saved me more times than I'd like to admit publicly.
Once you're fully cleaned and opened, you can set all of your oysters aside (preferably in a single layer in the fridge) while you light your grill, gather your other ingredients, and prepare your butter. This butter blend is quite simple to put together and tastes fantastic. It's always good to make a little extra too so you can drag some nice crusty bread through it while eating your oysters. If you are using a gas grill, electric grill, or smoker that doubles as a grill you're going to want to set it at a temperature that gets you to 500 degrees. Obviously using charcoal or hardwood this will be a bit more tricky but can also be done.
Once you've set your grill you want to melt your butter and add in your finely minced garlic and oregano. These are the only two ingredients you need to make this butter blend taste amazing. If you would like you can add some salt (especially if you used unsalted butter) and some black pepper to taste. This is not necessary by any means but does add a different dimension of flavor.
When your grill hits 500 it's time to drop your oysters on the grill shell down and top them with your butter mixture. You will miss the oysters sometimes, it will roll off the oysters sometimes, there will be flare up's from the grill...all of these things are perfectly okay. When the oysters begin to look a bit more solid and almost like they've been injected with something to make them puff up, you want to add a bit more butter as well as your parmesan and romano cheeses (evenly) and parsley. Whatever is left of your cheese after finishing your oysters you can mix into the remaining liquid butter for the bread.
At this point the only thing left to do is slice up a nice loaf of crusty bread and sit down for some delicious eats. You've worked hard, go ahead and enjoy it. These New Orleans style charboiled oysters, Didn't Suck!
New Orleans Style Charbroiled Oysters - Click for recipe
- 1 large (30lb or so) bag of fresh oysters
- 4 sticks (2 cups) of butter (salted or unsalted)
- 5 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese
- 2 tbsp parsley (fresh chopped is best, dried is good if that's what you have)
- salt and black pepper to taste