Few meals say "treat yourself" as emphatically as a platter of oysters. But if you've only had them fresh from the ocean and served with just a little mignonette and cocktail sauce, allow us to expand your oyster repertoire. We've rounded up our favorite ways to make oysters the star of the show, whether gussied up with breadcrumbs and spices, exciting sauces, fried, or even grilled. Try these preparations for a special dinner, a weekend project, or anytime the mood strikes. Oysters feel like a celebration, regardless of the occasion.
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If you don't have an expert shucking hand, tossing oysters on the grill will make it easier. They won't open as much as mussels or clams do, but the top shell loosens in the heat. Serve them warm with your favorite fixins.
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Top shucked oysters with bacon, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, and butter for a sophisticated starter or light meal. Go for fresh, locally caught oysters if possible, since the dish is only as good as the base.
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Butter and Herb Baked Oysters
A buttery breadcrumb topping gives baked oysters a nice richness, while fresh lemon juice adds zing. Add chopped parsley, thyme, marjoram, or your favorite fresh herb blend to customize the flavor. To keep the oysters from wobbling as they bake, fill the pan with dry rice or rock salt first, so they have a base.
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Crispy Fried Oysters
With a crisp and crunchy cornmeal batter, fried oysters make the perfect seafood snack, salad topper, or po'boy filling. We've also included a recipe for homemade tartar sauce for dipping, but the jarred version works if you don't have time.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
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Drago's Grilled Oysters
If you can't get to Drago's in New Orleans, make their famous charbroiled oysters at home with this recipe straight from the owner. The dish doesn't have many ingredients, so use high-quality oysters, along with Parmesan and Romano cheeses, so the flavors really get to shine.
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Crispy Southern Fried Oysters
With just a few ingredients and only about 15 minutes of cook time, these Southern-fried oysters make a quick and satisfying meal. Serve them over a green salad, with french fries and tartar sauce for dipping, or as a po'boy sandwich on a crusty roll.
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Seafood Gumbo with Oysters
Oysters, shrimp, along with crab meat and claws give this classic gumbo a ton of seafood flavor. Lots of veggies round this hearty Louisiana-style stew that really sticks to your ribs. Serve it with a side of white rice to soak up the broth.
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Cornbread and Oyster Dressing
Many Southern Thanksgiving dinners just wouldn't be complete without oyster dressing or stuffing. But this fragrant and satisfying side tastes great any time of year, either with turkey or as an accompaniment to main dishes such as pork or chicken. You will need to make the cornbread ahead of time.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
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Sauteed Oysters with Wine and Herbs
Tarragon, dry white wine, and butter add an earthy note to briny oysters, perfect for a dinner party or special meal for two. Serve them over toast as a light and elegant main dish, or sprinkle some fresh parsley over them for a starter.
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Slow Cooker Oyster Stew
Use your slow cooker to make this easy, set-it-and-forget-it oyster stew that uses just a few simple ingredients. Add chopped chives or green onions for a pretty and flavorful garnish, or sub in some half-and-half for an even creamier broth. If you use fresh-shucked oysters, make sure to save the liquid for that seafood flavor.
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Classic Oysters Rockefeller
A fragrant breadcrumb and herb topping gives baked oysters a little crunch and a ton of flavor in this classic appetizer. Pernod, a French liqueur, adds a lovely anisette note, but anisette, herb saint, or even a little sambuca works, too.
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Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, oyster fritters make a tasty appetizer, with tartar or cocktail sauce for dipping, or a main dish with french fries, potato chips, or macaroni salad. Use either fresh or canned oysters for this recipe.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
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Smoked Oyster Dip
Smoked oysters give this festive party dip a lovely seafood note. It tastes great with Ritz crackers, bagel chips, crostini, tortilla chips, or pita points. For extra color and an herbal zip, add chopped chives, parsley, or even a little green onion.
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Fried Oyster Po' Boy
A New Orleans standard, this hearty po'boy sandwich comes stuffed with fried oysters and all the fixins. Use remoulade or comeback sauce for the most authentic flavor and serve it for lunch, a casual dinner, or a game-day snack.
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Vodka Oyster Shooters
Get a romantic dinner started off right with these simple delicious oyster shooters. They also work great as a pretty appetizer to serve at a cocktail party. Break out the good vodka for these, to make the flavors really shine.