Oh Shucks!

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenDavid and I have been wanting some oysters all season. The other day we decided to pay a visit to our local seafood shop. We cleaned the snow off the car that had accumulated the day before Thanksgiving and headed to see if we could find an oyster.Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenGuess what we saw in the display case just as soon as we walked into the seafood shop? Yep, oysters. The lady behind the counter said these oysters were Chincoteague Oysters from Virginia’s Eastern Shore. They were a little expensive, but we wanted them bad enough to make the splurge. We got two dozen and she was nice enough to give us a couple extra just in case any were bad.

I decided to do some research about the Chincoteague Oysters. Here is what I found out:

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenRaised on the Atlantic side of Virginia’s eastern shore, Chincoteague Oysters are a full flavored oyster that pack an extremely salty punch. This distinctive briny flavor is washed away to reveal a sweet buttery finish with the ocean oyster flavor. These oysters are the original “salt” oysters that Virginia is known for. Chincoteague oysters predate the earliest settlements along the Chesapeake. The knowledge of harvesting and cooking oysters passed on from native tribes probably helped America’s first settlers through their first hard winters. Traditionally the oysters of this region were harvested from the ocean floor by day boats using hand tongs. That was later replaced by more recent aquaculture method of seeding the oysters in cages for protection from damage. Chincoteague Bay was the first area in Maryland to embrace aquaculture on a widespread basis in place of wild harvesting, beginning shortly after the Civil War. The clear, salty Atlantic water pours through Chincoteague Inlet and provides local oysters an excellent environment for growth and giving them a distinctive, sweet and salty flavor. Other oysters are brought in and left to take on the salinity of the bay for a few weeks and sold as Chincoteague oysters. These “mock” Chincoteague oysters have the familiar high briny flavor but not much more taste beyond that.

We took the oysters home and we would have them as an appetizer for our Saturday night steak. Yep, we would be eating high on the hog that night…

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

Our main course, ribeye steaks. They’re not just any ribeye steaks. These were purchased from the only town store back where I grew up. The man and his wife that own the store have had fresh cut ribyes forever and a day. They are always tender and he always tells you “don’t burn em”. They can put some expensive restaurant steaks to shame!

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

Place the oysters in a preheated oven at 350 degrees and bake until you see the shells pop open, about 5-12 minutes.

Oysters need to be kept extremely cold, so what better way to keep them cold, but then to put them outside in the cold on our snow covered deck?!?! They would sit there very happy until later that evening when we were ready for them. David and I like oysters best steamed open. Normally, we would just throw these bad boys up on the grill and let them pop open that way, but since David was going to cook steaks, he didn’t want the high heat of the charcoal to die down too much, since that is what seals in the juices of the steaks.Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenWe decided to place them on some foil lined baking sheets and bake them open in the oven.Most people probably use cocktail sauce or tartar sauce, maybe even a little lemon juice to go along with their oysters. That is a perfectly fine way to eat oysters, but David and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Smoked Chipotle Tobasco Sauce.

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

Chincoteague Oysters with a few splashes of Chipotle

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain KitchenNow, were not promised anything to plug this sauce, but I am here to tell you, this sauce is so good with the saltiness of the oysters it’ll almost make you want to slap your mama!! Yeah, that good… If you love steamed oysters, then definitely give this a try the next time you have some. YUM, YUM, YUM! Yes, we also tried some Sriracha, but it just didn’t taste as good as the chipotle sauce.

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

We even found a few with little crabs inside that we ate too

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

Ribeye Steaks done to perfection.

Chincoteague Oysters ~ Oh-Shucks | The Mountain Kitchen

We split a potato and had some leftover collard greens that mama had sent home with us after Thanksgiving.

Thank goodness we had only planned for the oysters to be an appetizer. Even though all 26 oysters opened, these were disappointingly small. Oh shucks!!

DMS

Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Oh Shucks!

  1. I’m drooling!!

  2. This looks like a feast!

  3. I am such a sucker for oysters, they are one of my favourite foods. This post has certainly whet my appetite. Now to find some good ones… xx

  4. Oysters on the half shell baby all the way…Your Florida Bud who adores Seafood. Cheryl

  5. What a beautiful surf-n-turf! Chincoteague is one of the most beautiful places. There are wild horses everywhere. I’m working on my shucking skills for some upcoming holiday parties.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Amanda!

      I’ve only passed through Chincoteague on my way up to Atlantic City. The horses are worth the trip, for sure.

      Good luck with the shucking skills and use a thick rag to hold them with. Some can be really difficult to open!

  6. I love oysters! Looks divine!

  7. Yum, what more can I say. My new trilogy is set in Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. Your post has just given me so much more material….can feel a Virginia road trip coming on! And that tabasco I’m on line looking for suppliers in Australia already.

  8. I’m not an oyster girl but about took a bite out of my computer screen trying to get to that beautiful ribeye!

  9. I’m glad you got a picture of that little crab that got himself cooked in the oyster.

    Me, I don’t like oysters. But I was thrilled when we moved here to discover that crab is local to Virginia. It’s only fresh for a short time each year, but we have a good Cooking Light recipe we use to make crab cakes when we can.

    Nancy

    • Blue crabs are my favorite crabs, but I have to be honest, I don’t work for the meat…lol! Have you ever had crab cakes eggs Benedict?

      • I haven’t, but my husband has. Eggs Benedict doesn’t appeal to me although it sure does sound tasty to have it with some crab cakes as part of it!

      • If you love crab cakes give it a whirl. I here Wegmans is coming to RVA. They have some in their seafood counter that are awesome!!

      • We lived by Wegman’s when we were in Rochester, NY and LOVED THEM. One time we were in Fredericksburg and I begged my husband to stop at it and he wouldn’t. I was so mad at him! Wegman’s is awesome.

      • Yes, it is a really nice store. Our closest is Gainsville.

  10. Now that is what i call a luxury meal! It looks so delicious I wish I had an invitation to join you. I love this post too – because I never knew how to bake an oyster open! 🙂 Thanks Debbie!

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