One of the lead stories in the Washington Post food section this week is Tim Carman on local oyster farming. I found the article a little snoozy especially since I’ve had Rappahannock River oysters and they aren’t for me. Well, they weren’t until I learned the joys of deep-frying them. No need to work over tiny, salty New England gems or the milder West Coast beauties–unless you want to try this Oyster Gin and Tonic from Jose Andres–but this treatment works wonders on blander creek, river, bay varieties. And wow, what a lovely picture at the Post of the recipe I tested and will be making again this weekend.
For the oysters, you just dip them in buttermilk and then your mixture of corn meal, cayenne, and salt, and fry them in a couple inches of oil. And you can do it all in about 15 minutes. Tip: Make sure the oil stays steady at 350 degrees.
The recipe at the Post is from Jeff Black of Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and it includes a hash of vegetables. I’d skip that bit–in fact I burned it so badly I had to make a second round and quick–and instead serve the oysters with a sauce of cream and hot sauce that a friend recently served with soft shell crabs or plain. Wow your guests–they will never know how easy they are to make.