Grilled Oysters, New Orleans Style

by Susan on July 13, 2010

I’ve been thinking a lot about New Orleans. It’s one of my favorite American cities. A truly amazing place, rich with culture and history, that doesn’t deserve the environmental and political disasters that have toppled its levees and oiled its waters. If you haven’t been to New Orleans it should be at the top of your list. When you do go, prepare to eat your way through its charming streets. You will experience unrivaled flavors and culinary traditions. Your mind and palate will be blown.

On our last trip to New Orleans, one of the greatest foods to grace our lips were the Chargrilled Oysters from Acme Oyster House, where oysters on the half shell are given the creole treatment – a healthy dousing of Acme’s seasoned butter and Romano cheese – before being cooked on an open flame. If you can believe it, they’re even better than they sound. Determined to recreate them, my grill-crazed hubby intently watched the oyster griller prepare these bayou jewels. This weekend we put his studies to the test.

The most important ingredient is the seasoned butter. Though Acme won’t give out their secret recipe, we made do with a Cajun Spice Blend. It’s a mix of paprika, celery seed, garlic, basil, white pepper, cayenne, thyme, and parsley. You can make your own or buy a pre-made bottle. Creole Seasoning would likely work too. Mix the spice blend with softened butter (about 4 TBSP per dozen oysters) to your desired level of heat and flavor. Next, grate some Romano cheese.

Apply a dollop of seasoned butter and a sprinkling of cheese to your shucked oysters. If you shuck these babies yourself, more power to you. We took the easy way out and bought them on the half shell. If you have options, choose a slightly larger, more plump variety of oyster.

Fire up your grill to medium heat, grab yourself a pair of cooking tongs, and watch the butter and cheese melt into oyster harmony. They don’t need too much time on the heat, so keep a close eye on the grill. Serve them straight off the grill, with lemon wedges and bread to sop up any extra butter. (For those of you who are grill-less, you can broil them in your oven, though they won’t have the same charbroiled taste.)

Not bad, huh? They looked and tasted like our fond Acme memories. We were pretty pleased with ourselves. So were our guests. Once the oysters were eaten, the only sounds were of forks and teeth chiseling away at every last crispy shred of cheese that had adhered to the shells.

If you enjoy these as much as I think you will, don’t make your new found ability to cook creole style an excuse not to go to New Orleans. I’m hoping for the opposite.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat November 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

OH!!!!! to die for..Never liked oysters, but it would be worth the trip back to New Orleans for these at the Acme..A Utah fan.Everyone tolds us Acme were the best…

Omar April 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

Those oysters in New Orleans were the best thing to ever touch my palette ! Thanks for your recipe I just bought a Weber grill and will give them a try.

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