Char-grilled Oysters with Roquefort Cheese and Red Wine Vinaigrette

Chef Snodgrass says that his char-grilled oysters are a popular signature and will remain on the menu. “At home, you need to have good oysters and a good, hot grill,” he advises. “We do it at home all the time when we are doing a crawfish boil. We do them on a charcoal grill. Shuck the oysters, leave them on the half shell, put the oysters over the fire, put a ladle of the vinaigrette on top of them, and let them go for as long as you want. We do it medium, from three to five minutes. The Roquefort is in the vinaigrette. This is the one appetizer that has stayed on every single menu,” he says. Before shucking the oysters, do not forget to scrub the shell with a stiff brush and rinse under cold water to remove all sand and grit. You will find a "hinge" at one end of an oyster. Take a good sharp knife, preferably a sturdy oyster knife, and insert this into the hinge. Apply pressure to pry the top and bottom shell apart until you hear the hinge pop. Take the knife and slide it pointing upwards being careful not to scrape the roof. Your goal is to cut the muscle that connects the two shells, slicing through this connective muscle. You can now separate the top and bottom shells. Be careful!

Chargrilled Oysters

  • 1 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped shallots
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pure olive oil (not extra virgin olive oil)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 12-18 oysters on the half shell

Combine all ingredients, except oysters, in a mixing bowl. Put oysters on the half shell, over a hot charcoal fire. Some prefer placing the oysters on a fish/vegetable rack to keep them even on a tray. It is also easy to move them on and off the grill this way. Top each oyster with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and cook until edges of the oysters start to curl, about 3 minutes. To serve, place a mound of rock salt (about 1 cup) on a salad plate and top with 3-6 oysters on the half shell per person.


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