If you want to stump your local Ace Hardware employee, walk into the store when it’s 50°F outside and ask for rock salt. After confirming that you do not have any ice on your driveway, ask if the product to which they direct you is pure salt or if it has any additives. Once reinforcements have been called in, tell the collective group you’re planning to use the “winter melt” for cooking and then observe the facial expressions. This is what serves for entertainment around here in February.
The rock salt quest came about after I saw a fabulous recipe for Baked Oysters and Apples from my Sunday Supper friend Alaiyo at Pescetarian Journal. Finding oysters in the shell – only $5.99 per dozen! – was easier for me than finding rock salt. But the folks at Ace came through.
I made these oysters for an afternoon snack when a friend was visiting. I can’t tell you how many times The Grillmaster said “these are really good.” Our friend enthusiastically agreed and said this would be a perfect dish to serve someone who doesn’t think they like oysters. Those were two happy guys as they slurped their oysters and beer.
I had some of the apple mixture left over and decided it would be the perfect thing for stuffing pork chops. I couldn’t find really thick chops, so I took two thin boneless pork chops, sandwiched the stuffing in between and tied it all together with kitchen twine. It was almost as good as the oysters!
If you’re looking for amazing seafood and vegetarian recipes, make sure you check out Alaiyo’s blog.
Baked Oysters and Apples
Adapted from Pescetarian Journal
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, minced
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 medium Gala apple, diced small
1 large lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
freshly ground black pepper
1 dozen oysters in the shell, scrubbed
Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent.
Squeeze juice from lemon over apples. Add apples and Panko to skillet. Mix thoroughly until bread crumbs are no longer dry.
Remove from heat and add cardamom and pepper. Stir well and set aside.
Line a baking sheet with a thin layer of rock salt.
Shuck oysters, cup side down, reserving as much liquid as possible in the cup. Place on cookie sheet (the rock salt will keep the oyster from tipping over).
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Divide apple mixture among the oysters. Roast for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
Per serving (3 oysters): 150 calories, 11g fat (3g sat), 30mg cholesterol, 90mg sodium, 11g carb, 1g fiber, 6g sugar, 3g protein
Nutritional Analysis: These oysters are a good source of Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Vitamin C and Iron. (Source: nutritiondata.com) If you’re concerned about the amount of Saturated Fat, skip the butter and use additional olive oil.