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Sex, Death and Oysters

Beneath the muddy waters of Galveston Bay lies one of the greatest seafood treasure troves on earth

Drago’s Grilled Oysters on the Half Shell

They use a high-gas flame at Drago’s in Metairie so the shells get well charred. The results are spectacular.

1/2 pound butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 dozen oysters in the shell
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Chopped parsley for garnish

Some 430 oyster boats are working in Galveston Bay this season, more than double last year.
Troy Fields
Some 430 oyster boats are working in Galveston Bay this season, more than double last year.
The keepers are piled on deck, and the empty shells and small oysters are shoved overboard.
Troy Fields
The keepers are piled on deck, and the empty shells and small oysters are shoved overboard.

Combine the garlic, salt and pepper with the hot butter. Place the unopened oysters on a gas grill. (Frozen oysters work fine for this.) When the shells pop open, remove the top shell. Ladle butter mixture over the oyster on the half shell and place on the grill for three to five minutes or until cooked through. When cooked, sprinkle with a little Parmesan and chopped parsley. Yields 36.

Angels on Horseback

This is one of those cute Old English names for cooked oysters wrapped in bacon. If you put three of these bacon-wrapped oysters on a wooden skewer and dip it in flour before you broil it, the dish becomes “oysters en brochette.”

12 shucked oysters, drained
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
6 slices bacon, cut into halves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Toasted bread slices
Tabasco sauce (optional)
Lemon wedges (optional)

Sprinkle each oyster with lemon pepper. Wrap the bacon half around the oyster, and secure it with a toothpick. Place the oysters on a broiler pan. Broil about four inches from the burner for eight to ten minutes or until the bacon is turning crisp on all sides. Serve two or three on each slice of toast. Garnish with parsley. Add hot sauce and lemon juice if desired.

Hangtown Fry

Two different legends are told about this oyster omelet invented in the California hamlet of Hangtown. Both agree that eggs and oysters were among the most expensive foodstuffs of the Gold Rush era. One has it that this was the last meal of a condemned man; the other claims that this was the most expensive dish a gold miner who just struck it rich could think of.

2 slices bacon
6 oysters, shucked
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 or 4 dashes Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper

Fry the bacon until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. In a clean skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oysters and sauté for about 1 1/2 minutes, or until they just plump up. Crumble the bacon and toss it with the oysters. Pour the eggs into the pan. Season with Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for five minutes or until the eggs are set, turning the cooked eggs to let the uncooked eggs run underneath. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately with sourdough toast.

You can reach Robb Walsh at robb@robbwalsh.com

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