I adore Tasmanian oysters and I hit jackpot moving to this farm to discover I had a neighbour who I call 'Oyster Girl' who just so happened to own a Oyster Farm. I am often blessed with her 'Fugly ones'. We usually once a week catch-up together for dinner over cheap bubbles and eat my 'Dippy Eggs' (soft boiled eggs + buttery toast soldiers) and make Oysters Kilpatrick.
Oysters for me now here are cheap, incredibly fresh, locally sourced and ever so tasty. But what happens when you get more oysters than you can eat in one sitting or when your gifted them with not time use? And whats the quickest easiest pantry based recipe to use on them....?
I discovered a secret...you freeze them.
Every Christmas in Ireland, my contribution was usually 6-8 dozen oysters to be shucked and shared with drinks with my fake cousins. Here in the Huon Valley, once the oysters have been scrubbed & washed, I pop them into zipblock bags of a dozen and they go into the freezer.
Pretty much then its a matter of removing them as you need them - usually a couple of dozen at a time. Its like the best 'back up entertainment option' ever.
I'm ok at shucking oysters from fresh - and I do plenty of times, but sometimes I leave a little bit of grit in them as when they are fugly they are fiddly and it takes a fair bit of time to pop open - especially if they have developed a bit of frill.
But no fear anymore as I've discovered the trick. Best trick ever.....
Once out of the freezer, frozen oysters will pop their shells ajar in less than an hour of starting to defrost. No needing to prize open them with a knife and contaminated with shell anymore - I can just slip the knife in the side and pop the lid off. Game changer. Quick, easy and grit free. I rinse the frozen oyster under the tap and set aside in a tray to defrost. Frozen oysters will still have salt water encased in their shell at the time of freezing and this will defrost in a few hours. This waters tipped out and then the oyster can be eaten natural or as I love it in my Oysters Kilpatrick recipe below...
A Dozen Oysters Kilpatrick
- 12 oyster large in half shell
- 2 bacon rashers shredded
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 240 mls barbecue sauce/tomato sauce or both
Divide up the fried off bacon into each shell. Mix the Worcestershire sauce and BBQ/Tomoto sauce together. I prefer 1:1 ratio but whatever tickles you. Drizzle sauce mixture onto each shell. Pop in oven or Grill till cooked - about 5-10 minutes depending on how long it takes for the bacon to crisp up.
I can’t ever personally tell the difference between a fresh or frozen oyster thats defrosted. I dont also know anyone who has. Having a few dozen oysters in the freezer at anyone time is the most loveliest afternoon entertainment with good friends.
Get yours from a reputable source, like a good local fishmonger, seafood market or maybe you, like me, your super lucky, live somewhere like Far South Tasmania and have an oyster farmer neighbour who loves you.