|March 19, 2012||Posted by Mindy under Cooking, Seafood|
Did you know that oysters have been gathered in the waters of the U.S. for more than 6,000 years? US Presidents Martin Van Buren and Abraham Lincoln favored the oyster and would often have parties where nothing but oysters would be served. The oyster also played an interesting role in European history in that when The Globe Theatre was excavated in London, oyster shells by the thousands were found at the site, evidence that theatergoers preferred to snack on oysters while watching Shakespeare’s plays. I am not a huge fan of the raw oyster myself, but I do enjoy them cooked. Oyster stew is always good but my absolute most favorite way to eat them is baked. There is a wonderful restaurant in my home town called Angelo’s Seafood Restaurant and they have an entire menu dedicated to various versions of the baked oyster. My particular favorite is the Bacon & Cheddar Baked Oyster. Of course at a seafood restaurant such as Angelo’s the oysters are served baked on the half shell – and they are mouth-watering delicious.
One Saturday evening I decided to go to one of the many fresh seafood markets near my house and I picked up two pints of fresh Apalachicola raw oysters. I had never baked oysters before but it certainly didn’t seem too difficult – all I was missing was the shell. Improvising I got out my mini muffin tin that I generally use to make mini quiches or bite size cupcakes for the kids. Spraying it down with a non-stick cooking spray, I drained the oysters and placed 2 per muffin cup. Using what I had at the house I covered it with cheddar cheese and then cut up some bacon and placed it on top. At 350 – 20 minutes later I had my own easy (no shucking required) version of Angelo’s Bacon & Cheddar Baked Oysters. There are so many ways you could make these with your own special twist including using parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, or spinach; the possibilities are endless! So if you haven’t tried it, sample a baked oyster from your favorite restaurant that serves Fresh from Florida seafood. And if you are in the mood to be creative in your own kitchen – get a pint of Fresh Florida oysters and try out your own creation – you might surprise yourself.