When I first moved to New Orleans, I wasn’t a huge raw oyster fan. Now, oysters served in BBQ sauce, that’s a different story – and apparently I’m not the only one with this mindset because this past week, Red Fish Grill served its 3 millionth BBQ Oyster. That’s a lot of oysters so if you don’t believe me when I say they’re delicious, you can take the other 2,999,999 people’s word for it. With that being said, I figured you might like to see what all the fuss is about. So get your saucepan, frying thermometer and nonreactive mixing bowl ready! Hey, at least you don’t need a barbecue pit! Enjoy and a huge congratulations to Red Fish Grill on this milestone!
- canola oil, for deep frying
- 2 cups seasoned flour
- 36 medium-to-large oysters,* drained
- 1 cup blue-cheese dipping sauce or salad dressing
Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 350°F, or heat 1½ to 2 inches of oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat to 350°.
Place the seasoned flour in a large mixing bowl.
Once the oil has almost reached 350°, drain any excess oyster liquor from a batch of the oysters and dredge them in the seasoned flour.
Carefully slide the oysters into the oil. (As the cold oysters come in contact with the hot oil, it may momentarily bubble up in the pan.) Fry the oysters just until golden brown and crispy, about two minutes. Remove the finished oysters from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat to dredge and fry the remaining oysters.
As soon as all the oysters have been fried and drained, add small batches of them to the bowl of barbecue sauce and toss to coat well. Serve while still warm.
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild-flavored Louisiana pepper sauce, such as Crystal brand
- 1 tablespoon clover honey
- 6 tablespoons clarified butter
Combine the hot sauce and honey in a blender. Set aside. In a very small saucepan, heat the clarified butter to 140°F over medium heat, using a frying thermometer to access temperature.
You may also heat the butter in a microwave oven in a small microwaveable bowl. (If you just prepared the clarified butter and it’s still over 140°, you don’t need to cool it to 140°.)
Promptly turn the blender to low speed and slowly pour the 140° butter in a thin steady stream through the hole in the blender’s lid. Pour this barbecue sauce in a large, nonreactive mixing bowl and set aside.
Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
- 4 ounces Stilton or other good-quality blue cheese, crumbled
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl, blending well with a whisk.
Serving Suggestion: Before using the dipping sauce, refrigerate it in a covered container at least four hours or overnight to let the flavors develop, then season with more kosher salt and pepper if desired. Keep refrigerated and use within four days.
Yields 1½ cups