DINING WITH THE DEVIL

Every August and September chefs are busy planning their Fall and Winter menus. During the last three months of the years, Chefs have four major holidays to incorporate within their menus - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve. 

The question is how to do that WITHOUT getting cutesy or straying into the seen-that, done-that.

Oysters can provide an answer to those annual concerns starting with Oysters Diablo, an elegant Halloween appetizer or intriguing shellfish entrée with both flair and flavor.  

Oysters Diablo

Ingredients

For the habanero vinegar

  • 2  habanero peppers
  • 1/2 cup  distilled white vinegar

For the compound butter

  • 2 teaspoons  canola oil
  • 1  shallot, sliced thinly
  • 6 tablespoons  unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into chunks
  • 2  habanero peppers, minced

For the oysters

  • 2  dozen Taylor Oysters
  • 2  jalapeños, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons  grated Parmesan cheese

 Directions

For the habanero vinegar

  1. Combine the habanero peppers with the vinegar in a bowl and steep for a couple hours.
  2. Set aside.

For the compound butter

  • Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine with the butter and habanero peppers and whip on low speed until light and airy. (You can also do this with a rubber spatula.)

For the oysters

  1. Preheat the grill over high heat.
  2. Shuck and clean the oysters, being careful to reserve the juice in the shell.
  3. Place the oysters on the half shell on the hottest part of the grill.
  4. Put 1 teaspoon of the compound butter on top of each.
  5. Grill the oysters until bubbly and the meat begins to curl away from the shell, about 1 minute.
  6. Remove from the heat.
  7. Season the oysters with the habanero vinegar, top with jalapeños, and grated Parmesan.