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Enjoying Oysters

How to Shuck an Oyster

step-0Some people insert the knife into the hinge at the pointy end of the oyster and twist it back and forth until they crack the oyster open, but we generally find the following method to be easier with our Choptank Sweets because they tend to have more meat with a thinner shell.

step-1Hold the oyster with a towel or wear gloves to protect your hands. Oysters have sharp edges and it is very easy to slip and jab yourself while trying to insert your shucking knife.

Oysters have a natural top and bottom. Hold the oyster with the top, flat, side up and the bottom, rounded, side down.

step-3Place the tip of your knife a few millimeters from the rim of the shell opposite the hinge. Apply pressure and wriggle it back and forth until your knife breaks into the top shell. (You could also cut or break the rim of the shell off with pliers or scissors leaving a gap between the shells where you can insert your knife.) Insert your knife underneath the top shell and sever the muscle that holds the two shell halves together.

step-5The oyster should then open up easily and you can slide your knife underneath the oyster meat to free it from the bottom half of the shell.

If the oyster is damaged by the shucking process you can now flip the meat over for final presentation.


Recipes

Oysters Bubbafeller


OystersBubbafeller - ChoptankSweetsIngredients:
  • 12 Choptank Sweets
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ lb bacon
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 pt heavy cream 2 cups chopped spinach
  • Old Bay™ seasoning
  • black pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup dry sherry
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:
Chop and cook bacon; drain and set aside. Melt butter in the same pan and add onion, garlic, and lemon juice. Sauté over medium heat until transparent. Add cream. Stir and allow to reduce until it thickens (about 5 min). Add spinach and stir until it cooks down. Add bacon. Add Old Bay, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Add sherry and stir all the ingredients together. Shuck oysters and place a spoon full of sauce over each one. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Grill or broil oysters over high heat until cheese is melted.


Stout Battered Oyster & Blue Cheese Po’Boy


OysterPoBoy ChoptankSweetsIngredients:
  • 12 Choptank Sweets
  • 4 sandwich rolls
  • ¾ cup stout beer
  • ½ cup flour 36 Ritz Crackers
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay™ seasoning
  • shredded lettuce
  • tartar sauce
  • cooking oil

Instructions:
In a bowl mix flour, seasoning, and beer until consistency of pancake batter. Crush crackers in zip top bag, and pour cracker crumbs onto a plate. Shuck oysters, place in strainer and rinse. Mix oysters into the batter. Roll battered oysters in cracker crumbs, coating each one. Heat oil in deep fryer or deep walled frying pan until it is good and hot. Fry oysters until they are golden brown, remove and drain on a paper towel.  Place 3 oysters on each sandwich roll, top with blue cheese, tartar sauce, and lettuce.


Choptank Sweets Parmesano


Choptank Sweets Parmesano
Ingredients:
  • 12 Choptank Sweets
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp bacon bits or real bacon pieces
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions:
Mix together olive oil, garlic, bacon, and pepper flakes. Mix in half of the cheese, setting the other half aside. Preheat your oven’s broiler on high. Shuck the oysters and place on a baking sheet. Brush the mixture onto each oyster with a basting brush. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese on top of each oyster. Place under the broiler for 5 min until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Remove from oven and enjoy!


Ostras a La Chalaca – (Oyster Ceviche)


Ingredients:
Ostras a La Chalaca - (Oyster Ceviche)
  • 12 Choptank Sweets
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned corn
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions:
Dice onion and tomato and mix together with the corn. Chop the jalapeño, removing seeds and ribs depending on your heat tolerance, and add to mixture. Add parsley, cilantro, and lime juice and mix all ingredients well.  Shuck the oysters and place the raw oysters on a serving plate. Place a generous spoonful of the ceviche mixture onto each oyster and they are ready to eat.  Or, if you prefer, you can cook the oysters under your broiler for 5 minutes before spooning on the ceviche mixture.


Oysters Brooklyn


Ingredients:
  • 24 Choptank Sweets
  • 1 batch hollandaise with garlic (see below)
  • 5 large shallots, sliced into thin rings, about 2.5 cups (these will cook down a lot)
  • 3 oz pancetta, chopped into small dice
  • chives, chopped

For the Hollandaise:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of strained lemon juice
  • 2 chopped cloves of garlic
  • and a pinch of cayenne

Instructions:
1. Make the Hollandaise: In a blender, add yolks, juice, cloves, and cayenne, then blend on high. Melt 1 stick of butter until bubbling but not browned. While the blender is running, pour into the blender (through the lid if possible to avoid splatters) the hot butter in a thin, steady stream. Run for 30 seconds more. If the sauce has not thickened, turn on the blender again for an additional 15 seconds (or more) until it is not runny.

2. Cook pancetta until crispy. Drain pancetta, and remove some fat, then add shallots and a quarter tsp. of sugar, mixing everything together to coat the shallot slices. Cover and sweat for 5-10 minutes, then finish on medium-low heat, cooking slowly until the shallots are a deep golden brown, about another 20 minutes.

3. Spoon the shallot and pancetta mixture on each oyster, Top with a dollop of garlic hollandaise and broil till most of the surface is brown and bubbling. Watch closely, as the hollandaise may brown surprisingly quickly. Top with chopped chives and serve.

If you have any leftover hollandaise, it will taste great on steamed or grilled asparagus and artichoke!


Oysters Bienville

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 dozen Choptank Sweets
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about a half of a large onion)
  • 4 or more whole scallions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup (1 lb medium 41-60) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, then chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped white mushrooms or Portobello mushrooms, stems removed (about 8oz)
  • 1/ 2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp minced flat-leafed parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh strained lemon juice
  • A few dashes of Tabasco
  • Kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten

Instructions:

Shuck the oysters. Leave the oysters on the half shell on a bed of ice or in the refrigerator while you make the topping.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

For the Sauce:
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, sauté until the onions turn slightly golden.
2. Add the flour, stirring well to incorporate. Cook for a few minutes until it gets just a little color but is not browned.
3. Add the white wine then the cream and cook for 2 minutes more.
4. Now stir in the shrimp, mushrooms, and salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the shrimp start to turn pink. They will cook more when the oysters go in the oven.
5. Add the lemon juice, parsley, green onions, and hot sauce. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if necessary, and with the cayenne. Remove the skillet from the heat.
6. When the sauce is somewhat cooled, stir in the egg yolks vigorously and rapidly so they do not set.

For the Oysters:
1. Top each Choptank Sweet with about 2 Tbsp of the prepared sauce. You may choose to place them in a pan that has a thin layer of rock salt in the bottom to stabilize the oysters, but it’s not necessary.
2. Bake for 10-12 Minutes in the 400º F oven, then turn on the broiler to slightly brown the tops (about 1-2 minutes more). The oysters are finished when the sauce is heated through, tops are lightly browned and the edges of the oysters start to curl. It takes longer than you might expect to cook the filling through, but it is important not to overcook the oysters. Serve hot.


Oyster Fact:

Historically, oysters were eaten only during months spelled with an “R” in their name, however, this old “R” rule is no longer followed. The only thing now governing when oysters may be eaten is their availability. And thanks to modern day refrigeration, oysters can be eaten year round. Since there are no seasonal harvest restrictions on aquacultured oysters, you can eat our oysters any time you like!

Oyster Nutritional Information

Choptank Oyster Nutritional Facts

Oysters are a great source of Protein, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Niacin, Magnesium, and Phosphorus. They are also a good source of Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium. Farmed oysters are lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than wild caught oysters.

oyster on half shell

Our oysters are a completely natural food source that is not only good for you, they are good for the environment!