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Tom’s Broiled Oysters

This is a dish I improvised one day when I had some beautiful oysters that I needed to use soon, and only fifteen minutes to cook and eat. To my palate, this is one of the best oyster dishes I’ve ever had, and one of the best dishes I’ve ever devised. If someone hasn’t beaten me to it, which is possible, since it’s almost ridiculously simple.

The first time I made this, I was in so much of a rush that I used all dried herbs. That worked fine, but it was much better with fresh herbs–even if the only one you can get is parsley.

The time this takes under the broiler varies considerably with the size and state of the oysters, and from oven to oven, but it won’t be more than a few minutes.

  • Per person:
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12-18 large to very large oysters
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh garlic (or 1/4 tsp. granulated garlic)
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried parsley)
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped (or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme)
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1-2 Tbs. salt-free Creole seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • French bread, cut into rounds about a half-inch thick, toasted

Move the top rack of the oven or broiler to about three inches from the heat. Preheat the broiler to 550 degrees.

1. Use a skillet with a metal handle, or a metal baking pan. Put the olive oil in the skillet and turn to coat the bottom. Add the oysters, enough to cover the entire bottom without overlapping. (You can use a larger skillet or pan to do more oysters at one time.)

2. Sprinkle the garlic and herbs over the oysters. Then sprinkle the Creole seasoning liberally over the oysters, adjusting the amount to your taste for pepper. Sprinkle the lemon juice over all.

3. Put the skillet or pan directly under the heat in the broiler. Broil for about three minutes, then take a look at the oysters. What you want to see is that the oysters are bulging, and have curly edges. The crust of seasoning should also have browned a little. If not, broil longer until the oysters match that description.

4. Pour the oysters and a pan liquids into a bowl. Serve with hot French bread for dipping into the sauce that the oysters, herbs, and olive oil have made on their own. Or spoon some of the oysters over the bread.

Serves four appetizers.

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