A few weeks ago, my friend Emily Myers, (of the fabulous Emily G's) decided to have an oyster roast in the backyard of her Georgia home. This is one of my favorite autumn traditions and I was eager to take part...
Emily bought a 30 pound box of oysters from the Gulf at the Buford Highway Farmer's Market. (for 6 people total)
Em's oyster roast setup consisted of 6 cement blocks, an old grate from a fire pit she borrowed from a friend and 2 heavy steel brackets to support 2 thin 2' x 4' stainless steel sheets bought from Home Depot. (optimally, you can buy one heavy sheet of stainless steel from a metal works dealer, but will cost you a $100 plus) You will also need a large piece of burlap, a small shovel, metal tub, firewood and a large aluminum dust pan. All in all, Em spent just $50 on materials.
First, Em rinsed the oysters with the hose to remove any grit and sand. With the cover off the roaster, she started a fire. Next, she covered it with the grate, brackets and sheets. Once hot, (water steams as it touches the steel sheets) Em put about half the oysters on top. She then covered it with wet burlap (**soak it in water beforehand).
After 10 minutes, Em scooped up the oysters with the shovel and placed them in a metal tub. Zeb Stevenson arrived with good intentions and a man bag, (Executive Chef at Livingston Restaurant + Bar) but Em had it all under control. She's a bad ass.
Cocktails are a must at any oyster roast so Emily provided us with a tasty cranberry concoction to begin our afternoon, then Angela brought over a big jug of bourbon and cider. (She added orange bitters, whole allspice, ground cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper and ginger, simmering together on stove for 45 minutes) We drank mason jars full as we slung back our oysters. So good...
Toppings are essential for a great oyster and these two creations did not disappoint. Zeb made an incredible Vietnamese shallot sauce and Christian Rodriguez (Chef de Cuisine, Rosebud restaurant) crafted a delicious chimichurri option.
Christian and Zeb shucked like the master chefs they are. I just took pics and ate as many oysters as I could.
Such a great day. Thanks Em and friends for making a Friday afternoon that much better. If you know someone who loves oysters, take a look at this Edisto Oyster knife- it's a perfect xmas gift. And happy weekend...
Photos and Content: Sweet Peach