Oysters are great all year long but did you know they’re considered in peak season in the fall all along the Chesapeake Bay? There’s an old adage that you should only buy oysters in months that end with ‘R’ as in September, October, November and December. The reasoning evolved around the idea that oysters spawn in the summer time and because they’re “weak” from spending all their time on reproducing they can become milky and thin. Another opinion is the heat in the summer months can make oysters toxic if not shipped properly.
Nowadays, this is less of an issue as modern refrigeration and oyster farming leave less room for risk associated with the quality of oysters.
Ways To Eat Oysters*
*Always wash/scrub oysters thoroughly before cooking them.
- Steamed – Cook over boiling water with a lid. Feel free to add wine or beer to the water for added aroma.
- Roasted – Cooking over fire on a charcoal or gas grill. You can choose to cook the whole shell or on the half shell.
- Frying – Take the oysters out of the shell, roll in batter and fry in a saucepan.
- Traditional Oyster Roast – Lay a wet towel over roasted oysters to keep in moisture.
Restaurants To Get Oysters In Washington D.C.
- Rappahannock Oyster Bar
- Blackwall Hitch
- Birch & Barley
- Pearl Dive Oyster Palace/Black Jack
- Eat The Rich
Oyster Rockefeller Recipe
Yields: 6 servings or 36 appetizers
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 5 min
- 36 fresh (live) oysters on the half shell
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons finely-minced fresh spinach leaves
- 3 tablespoons finely-minced onion
- 3 tablespoons finely-minced parsley
- 5 tablespoons homemade bread crumbs
- Tabasco sauce to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbsaint
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Rock salt
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Using an oyster knife, open the oyster shells, then remove the oysters. Discard the top shells; scrub and dry the bottom shells. Drain the oysters, reserving the oyster liquor.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter; add spinach, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, Tabasco sauce, Herbsaint and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Press the spinach mixture through a sieve or food mill; let cool. Mixture may be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.
- Preheat oven broiler. Line an ovenproof plate or platter with a layer of rock salt about 1-inch deep (moisten the salt very slightly.) Set oysters in the rock salt, making sure they are level.
- Place a little of the reserved oyster liquor on each oyster. Spoon an equal amount of the prepared spinach mixture over each oyster and spread to the rim of the shell.
- Broil approximately 5 minutes or until the edges of the oysters have curled and the topping is bubbling. Watch carefully.
- Garnish the plates or platter with the parsley sprigs and the lemon wedges. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings or 36 appetizers.
Source: What’s Cooking America
Shuck Your Own Oysters
Do you have any other questions about boating without owning or the Carefree Boat Club Washington DC location?