Y’all will be surprised but the cowboy is cooking oysters today. And we’re doing it three different ways: from the sea grilled on the half shell, from the sea baked and of course, Rocky mountains style!

Shuck the Oysters

I had delivered to me Pony express – oysters! Yes, I am talking East Coast oysters. I have shucked corn, but today is going to be a little different shucking these oysters! 

If y’all are looking for some good oysters this is where we got ours from: http://www.coppsislandoysters.com/

There is a smoother side and dished side. You want to always put the dished side (or bowled-side) down when you’re trying to open one of these rascals. Get a cup towel to hold the oyster in and one of them good oyster shucking knives. But if you’re like me and don’t have one a small knife with a pointed end will do. 

Start at the hinged side of the oyster and get your knife in a bit. You’ll want rock your knife back and forth applying slight pressure to get inside. Slowly work your way around the entire oyster until it opens. Some of the oyster may get stuck to the top so just lightly scrape him off of there. 

Grilled Oysters

First up we’re going to throw these fellers on the grill! Start with half a stick of butter that is softened, and mix that with the red pepper flakes and garlic.

Be sure your grill is hot and cleaned before starting, and you do want a hot grill! Place the oyster shells on the grill and give each of them about a teaspoon full of the butter mix right on top. Shut the lid and let them cook for about 3 – 4 minutes. 

After that time give them a little look- you’ll be able to tell when they are done because they will plump and get a little puffy. They will also go to browning around the edges a bit.  Add a little more butter to them, shut the lid and go about another minute. 

Pull them off the grill and sprinkle some of that good Parmesan cheese on… however much you want. 

The best part is these little things come in their own serving bowl! 

Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Ingredients

  • ½ stick butter softened
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Large oysters freshly shucked
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • Garlic bread toasted for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill to high. Clean and oil well. 

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, garlic and pepper flakes. Set aside. 

  3. Place the oysters in their shell over the hottest part of the grill. Spoon the butter mixture on top of each oyster. 

  4. Close the lid and let cook for about 3 minutes. Open the lid and baste once more with the butter mixture. Continue grilling until the oysters puff up and the sides begin to curl in slightly. 

  5. Remove from the grill and top with the Parmesan cheese. Serve warm with with toasted garlic bread, if desired. 

Baked Oysters

Now, this next way is in the broiler and it is as easy as it can be. So what are you gonna start with? A little butter spray in a muffin pan. 

Like Andy Griffith said, “Everything tastes better when it sits on a Ritz.” so go ahead and place one cracker on the bottom of each muffin. Add a little cheese… ok add some more. I’m also going to top it with about a 1-inch piece of bacon that I pre-cooked until it was about 3/4 done. 

Now comes the oyster. And, folks, if a little juice runs in there it ain’t doing nothing but helping us out. Finally you’re going to top it with a thinly sliced jalapeno round and we’re all set. 

We have pre-heated the broiler on hot. Slide that muffin pan right in your oven.  Let them bake for about 5 – 6 minutes. They will also puff up and brown a little. Remove the pan from the oven and top with a sprinkle more of cheese. Return to the oven and bake just until that top layer of cheese melts.

That’s cheesy goodness right from the sea! 

Baked Jalapeno Cheese Oysters - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Ingredients

  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 12 Ritz crackers
  • Shredded pepper jack cheese for sprinkling (roughly 2 cups)
  • 1 dozen Oysters shucked
  • 2 jalepenos sliced in thin rounds (deseeded, if desired)

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the broiler to high. Grease a muffin pan.
  2. Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces. Add to a skillet and cook over medium heat until about halfway done. Remove and place on a paper towel.
  3. Place 1 crumbled Ritz cracker on the bottom of each muffin. Sprinkle the tops with pepper jack cheese (about 1 to 1 ½ cups). Top with the bacon followed by an oyster and 1 -2 jalapeno slices.
  4. Broil for about 5 to 6 minutes or until the oysters puff up slightly, and are crisp and brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cheese (about ½ cup). Return to the oven and continue baking just until the cheese is melted. Serve hot.

Rocky Mountain Style Oysters

One of my most favorite treats! Y’all might know them as calf fries too but they are a delicacy around camp and one of my favorite style of “oysters.” 

There are a few tips I have when preparing these fellers.

Mine obviously come fresh from the range, but if you’re looking for some… what do you know Amazon has some here: https://amzn.to/2OtHBgk

The outer membrane has been taken off and has been washed several times. I recommend starting with these partially frozen because they are easier to clean that way. Hold the oyster in your hand and press so the oyster bulges slightly out of your hand. Take a good knife and cut lightly down the middle. Fold the two halves open and then simply peel them away from the membrane. You’ll now want to take that and cut into small pieces. That is my biggest tip! You don’t want a raw, chewy calf fry so cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces and they’ll fry up quicker! 

Once you get them all cut up, rinse them well several times through a colander. Place them on a paper towel and blot a few times.  

Mix the Dry Ingredients

While the oysters are minding their own business, mix up the dry ingredients (listed below). Once you get all the ingredients mixed, I like to mix again with my hands and break up those Saltines a little more. 

Add an oyster at a time to the dry mixture and toss to coat well. When they are coated, go ahead and press the dry mixture onto the oysters a bit to make sure that coating will stick. 

Add the oysters to a Dutch oven or pot with fry oil heated to about 350 degrees F. You can go a tad lower because I like these to cook just a bit slower. You don’t want them to flash fry to ensure they cook through. 

Don’t forget to dunk them in that special sauce of Shan’s too!

 

Let us show you how we cook these oysters in our video…


Rocky Mountain Oysters or Calf Fries - Cowboy Kent Rollins

Ingredients

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 sleeve Saltine crackers crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Calf fries
  • Fry oil canola, peanut, etc.
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, cracker crumbs, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. RInse the “oysters” well in colander and place on a paper towel. Pat to dry.
  3. Cut the “oysters” into small bite-sized pieces.
  4. In a deep fryer or Dutch oven, add at least 3 inches of oil and pre-heat to 350 degrees F.
  5. Toss the “oysters” in flour mixture to coat well. Drop each “oyster” into the grease and fry until golden brown, stirring occasionally (about 4 minutes).
  6. Let drain on paper towel or wire rack. Serve warm with dipping sauce.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup and horseradish. Serve with calf fries.