Saturday, November 30, 2013

Oyster Night

I just had a wonderful week spent with my favorite person in the world. He came for the whole week of Thanksgiving and we cooked until we dropped. 

One of the highlights of the week was Oyster Night. Mom brought over a sack of oysters and we sat around the table with dear sister and Mom opening oysters for the very first time. Several people warned us that is was really hard to do. But we managed quite nicely. Not a single oyster went unopened. It was such a great experience. It was a freezing cold wet day, so it turned out handling and cleaning the oysters was harder than opening them. It was so so COLD!!!! The oysters were so delicious and very salty. Can't wait to do this again. 

We made a few condiments for the raw oysters. The first was Mom's Cocktail Sauce. It is a classic at our house. We make it every time we have seafood. It is great on boiled crawfish, boiled shrimp, fried shrimp and of course oysters. The second condiment was my third attempt at Deckhand Sauce from Deckhand's Oyster Bar (Round Rock, TX). I have been trying so hard to replicate this sauce. This is the closest I have come so far. It is not exactly the same but close enough since I don't live any where close to the restaurant. It was spicy and complemented the oysters so well. Mom said she preferred it to the cocktail sauce. She really liked the cilantro in the sauce. We also made Donald Link's Garlic-Chile Butter so we could try grilling some of the oysters. It is delicious too. We all thought that a tablespoon of butter on each oyster was too much, so I put less. Now I know why, the butter burns off or spills during the grilling. So in this case more is better. Everything turned out amazing. I would definitely plan Oyster Night the same exact way next time. Great food and even better company!

Mom's Cocktail Sauce


1 bottle chili sauce
2 Tbsp. horseradish
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp kosher salt


Pour chili sauce in a medium bowl. Stir in horseradish, lemon juice, Tabasco and salt. Mix well and taste, add ingredients to taste. Serve with boiled and fried seafood.

Deckhand Inspired Oyster Sauce


anchovy fillets, mashed
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp. Sriracha sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt
Handful of cilantro, minced
2 Tbsp. water


In a medium bowl mash anchovies into a paste. Grate garlic clove on a microplane grater into the anchovies. Mash together until combined. Add lime juice, Sriracha, salt, cilantro and water. Mix well and pour into a squeeze bottle. Note the tip of the squeeze bottle may need to be trimmed so that cilantro will pass through the tip. Squeeze over oysters on the half shell.

Grilled Oysters with Garlic-Chile Butter
Source: Real Cajun by Donald Link
Serves 4 to 6

Compound Butter:
2 sticks butter
3 garlic cloves
2 anchovy fillets
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

16 oysters, in the shell
Lemon wedges, for garnish


Cut butter into 1-inch cubes and allow it to soften to room temperature.

Mince the garlic, anchovy, and lemon zest (or mash in a mortar and pestle), and then fold in the butter, lemon juice, garlic chili sauce, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Roll the butter into a log, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until needed.

Open the oysters as you would for on the half shell, discarding the top shells. Place a 1-tablespoon slice of the compound butter on each oyster and place on a hot grill until until the juices begin to bubble and the oyster curls up around the edges, 6 to 10 minutes. (It's good to melt a few tablespoons of the butter to put om the oysters after they are grilled, in case some spills out of the shells.)

Serve immediately, with wedges of fresh lemon, if desired.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday
This Gal Cooks: Marvelous Mondays
Stone Cottage Adventures: Tuesdays with a Twist
Anyonita Nibbles: Tasty Tuesdays
Memories by the Mile: Tuesday Trivia-Illinois and Link Party
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday


  1. I'm a big Donald Link fan! Chili butter sounds excellent with oysters. I have never tried shucking an oyster--my dad always handles that task. Sounds like oyster night was a hit. Thank you for sharing, Denise!

    1. It was surprisingly easier than I was told. It is all about finding the oyster hinge and twisting the knife. You have to try the butter recipe. It would be good on anything. Love Link's Real Cajun book. Thanks for coming by Michelle.

  2. I know this comment is way past the original post date, but I think they use green papaya in the deckhand sauce. It tastes similar to the green papaya salad. I look forward to trying your Deckhand sauce recipe. That sauce is addictive! Just curious, but where did you get the idea for the two anchovies?

    1. Hi! Kathleen, Glad you found me no matter when. That is a great tip. I will have to try it. I read it in an Austin360 review of Deckhands. They listed the ingredients (anchovies, lime, sriracha, cilantro, garlic). Don't know if it is accurate. I have been trying for awhile to replicate it. I started with Laotian recipes for dipping sauces since I knew the owner was from Laos. They were similar but to sweet. Also when I made the butter recipe it reminded my of Deckhand sauce so I went that route. It turned out closer than any of my other attempts. I hope you enjoy the recipe. Please come back and let me know. You are so right it is totally addictive! Have a great day. :)

    2. P.S. Try Deckhand Sauce or this recipe with boiled shrimp. My friend brought me some sauce a while back and I boiled some shrimp to dip in it. It was amazing! He still talks about it, so does my dear sister.

    3. P.S.S. I just looked up Green Papaya Salad it has fish sauce which is made from anchovies. Maybe it is just the dressing for the salad. I am going to try that too! Thank Kathleen for the idea.

  3. Thanks!! I'll try with the fish sauce too. I'm going to try this with boiled shrimp. I look forward to reading more of your blog. 😊


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