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BOB HART’S BARBECUED CHILLI OYSTERS

BOB HART’S BARBECUED CHILLI OYSTERS

 

Vast numbers of oysters come to a sticky end every year at Flemington: they are a signature food of the Carnival, in fact.

 

Most are eaten as god intended – raw, and straight from the shell. But there are better options…

 

My favourite, for example, is chilli oysters on the half-shall. And whatever sort of barbecue you own, use it to prepare these as a first course, and you will be a backyard hero. Or possibly heroine.

 

Try this:

 

Finely dice a couple of shallots and, in a small saucepan, gently sweat them in 100g of unsalted butter until they begin to soften. Now, add a generous slosh of Sriracha chilli sauce – buy the one with the rooster on the bottle which you will find just about anywhere these days – and bring back to a simmer. Then, add the juice of half a lime, or a bit more if you like.

 

Spoon this mixture into a dozen (or more) Pacific oysters – those are the large ones from SA or Tassie – and sit the oysters on a stainless steel seafood rack. (Some barbecue shops sell these, but the best way to find them is on Amazon under seafood racks, sometimes also under the Steven Raichlen brand. They are not expensive, although the postage can be, so buy several and share the postage with a friend by selling them one! They are also essential for cooking scallops on the half shell.)

 

Now, fire up any barbecue to grilling heat (at least 200C) – a gas barbecue such as a Weber Q or a Genesis works well, but so does a charcoal kettle or a kamado-style grill – and place the rack at the centre of the grill. Drop the lid, of course.

 

The oysters need very little cooking: the liquid will bubble in a couple of minutes, and they are ready to eat soon after. Lift from the grill carefully, sprinkle with chopped, fresh coriander leaves, let them cool slightly, and eat them right from the half-shell, standing around the barbecue.

 

And if a couple of those don’t put you on a winner, frankly, nothing will!

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