Today's post is part of the #HolidayHQ Blog Hop. See the links below for more posts from the best party and entertaining experts!
We're officially in the months that contain the letter "R", which means it's oyster season! If you're looking for a unique event for autumn, host an Oyster Roast. These convivial gatherings are best done outside - or at the very least on hardwood floors if you must be indoors - on a large table covered with newspaper. Your guests will enjoy gathering around the grill with a drink in hand, waiting for the magical moment when the oysters pop!
Oysters are typically sold about 120 per bushel. Most guidelines advise serving a minimum of six per person...although I could easily eat a dozen on my own. Be sure to pick them up no sooner than the morning of your party, for maximum freshness. They should be closed tight and free of strong odor. If you find an open oyster, give it a tap. If it doesn't close immediately, it's a dud - throw it away. Clean the oysters with a scrub brush and keep them in a cool, moist environment until ready to roast.
Arrange the oysters in a small pile on a metal cookie sheet, and cover with a wet cloth. They have a tendency to explode if roasted dry, so be sure to keep the towel wet. Place the cookie sheet over a grill or fire pit at medium-high heat, about (350º to 400º).
After about 10 minutes, the shells will open ¼ to ½ inch, which means they're done. Dump them onto the table with condiments (see below), paper towels, a bowl for shells, and oyster knives and gloves - or dishtowels - at the ready.
Your roasted oysters shouldn't be too difficult to shuck. Cover your hand with a glove or towel and hold the oyster flat side up. Insert the knife into the opening, and give the knife a twist to pry the shell open. This video explains how to shuck raw oysters, but as I said, a roasted oyster will put up much less of a fight.
Purists will recommend serving nothing but Saltines and condiments such as hot sauce, mignonette sauce, lemon, melted butter, or grated horseradish. Others consider the oysters part of a larger meal which could include roasted bratwurst, garlic bread, corn on the cob, and other picnic favorites. In either case, I recommend ending your roast on a sweet note with a seasonally appropriate pumpkin dessert.
As a rule of thumb, dry, crisp white wines pair best with the briny bivalves. Avoid anything too sweet or syrupy. Champagne is the perfect accompaniment, as its versatility pairs well with oysters' complexity. Porters, stouts, and IPAs work well if your guests would prefer beer. Or you can mix the two and make a...
Fill a champagne flute halfway with Guinness. Pour dry champagne over the back of a bar spoon and into the glass, to prevent mixing the layers. Serve immediately.
See the links below for more October party tips. We'll be back in November and December, too!
Housewife Bliss | Planning the Perfect Halloween Party
Celebrations at Home | Dress Up Your Drinks for Halloween
The Gracious Girl | Halloween Parties Dos and TaBoos!
With Style & Grace | Sweet Treats for Halloween Entertaining
The TomKat Studio | How to Make an Adorable Halloween Sign + Free Printable
Tatertots & Jello | Halloween Tablescape
Home, Life & You Style | A Halloween Party in the Woods
The Partybluprints Blog | Get Corny This Halloween!