Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: How to enjoy oysters

The many things we harvest from the salty waters of the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico are a big part of our food ways. 

The wonderful things we can do with fish and shrimp could fill volumes of cookbooks, and the oysters and crab recipes are just as numerous.

But there is one dilemma for the serious epicure. Fresh crab meat and freshly shucked oysters are so delicate it doesn't take much to cover their sublime taste, and destroy what makes them so wondrous.

Please don't do that. Nothing can ruin a crab cake like over seasoning, or pouring a huge dollop of hot sauce on a beautiful oyster. Try a lump of fresh crab meat neat, with no adornment and it will change the way to think about crab.

Here are a few simple steps to help you enjoy oysters

 1. Buy fresh, local oysters

2. Open as soon as you can

3. Serve on the half shell, still surrounded by their liquor, never waste it.

4. Make sure the oyster stays cold, so serve on ice if possible

5. Add just a drop or two of lemon juice

6. Or add just a single drop of hot sauce

7. Enjoy in one big gulp, now is not the time to chew

8. Repeat the process as often as possible