Lemon Garlic Fried Florida Wine-Baked Oysters
Test kitchen bonus: How to cook with Florida oysters
The Florida oyster harvest gears up in fall when water temperatures begin to drop. The cool months are when oysters taste the best. Oysters are among Florida’s top commercial seafood products in terms of dockside value, with last season’s harvest totaling over $6 million, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Lemon Garlic Oysters
36 Florida oysters in the shell
6 ounces butter, melted
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1. Wash oysters thoroughly. Shuck and place oyster meat on deep half of shell; remove any remaining shell particles.
2. Arrange on baking sheet, cover and refrigerate. Combine remaining ingredients in sauce pot and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, let cool.
3. Top each oyster with 1/2 teaspoon of butter mixture and bake in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes or until edges begin to curl.
Wine-Baked Oysters and Crab
36 Florida oysters in the shell
1 pound crab meat
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons white wine or sherry
10 ounces low-fat Swiss cheese, grated
1. Wash oysters thoroughly. Shuck and place oysters on deep half of shell removing any remaining particles of shell. Arrange oysters on baking sheet and set aside.
2. Combine crab meat with remaining ingredients; mix well.
3. Top each oyster with 1 teaspoon of mixture and bake in a heated oven at 450F for 10 minutes or until edges begin to curl.
Fried Florida Oysters
1 pint Florida oysters, shucked
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs or corn meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Canola oil for pan frying
1. Drain liquid from oysters and remove any remaining shell pieces. Place oysters in a bowl, add milk and stir.
2. Combine flour, bread crumbs or cracker meal, salt and pepper in a small bowl or pie plate. Coat oysters individually with flour mixture. In a heavy skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until hot, but not smoking.
3. Fry oysters for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from oil and drain on absorbent paper. Serve with sauce or on salad.
Seafood Safe Handling Tips
• Purchase seafood last and keep it cold during the trip home.
• Keep raw and cooked seafood separate to prevent bacterial cross-contamination.
• After handling raw seafood, thoroughly wash knives, cutting surfaces, sponges and hands with hot soapy water.
Buying and Storing Tips
• Live oysters should close tightly when shell is tapped. Discard oysters that do not close.
• Oysters should have a mild sea breeze odor and shells free of cracks.
• Oysters should never be exposed to sudden temperature change. Do not store live oysters
directly on ice or immersed in water.
• Store at a constant 41° F in the refrigerator in a container with the lid slightly open. They will remain alive for up to 7 days. Drain excess liquid daily.
• Freshly shucked oysters have a fresh sea breeze aroma and a clear or slightly milky gray liquid in the container.
• Wash live oysters thoroughly under cold running water prior to cooking.
• Oysters become plump and opaque and the edges begin to curl when thoroughly cooked.
• Serve roasted and grilled oysters in shells with melted butter or a sauce.
• Easy grilling: Place oysters about 4 inches from hot coals or gas flame. Grill for approximately 10 minutes or until shells open.
• Easy oven roasting: Place oysters on a baking sheet on the middle rack. Roast at 350 F for 10 minutes or until shells open.
• Easy fried oysters: bread shucked oysters and fry in oil for 3 to 4 minutes at 375 F.
• Easy baked oysters: bake shucked oysters for 10 minutes at 450 F.