Baked Oysters and Busy Days

Bee in a Rhododendron

I haven’t been keeping up on my cooking these days. Well, let’s not say that. I have been cooking every night, as usual, but these days, I am sticking to old standbys and cheaper meals. It could be the weather outside has me spending more time in the garden, or on the deck with the kiddies, or it could have more to do with this writhing alien in my belly.

Little Tikes Car

One forgets how time consuming simple tasks become when you can’t stand up for more than 30 minutes without having your feet ache, your back be on fire and your head feel light. That’s when I tend to stop what I’m doing, head out to the deck, slump myself into lounging deck chairs and wait it out.

Preggo

But even if they take up all my time, at least the setting in which I am forced to perform these tasks is beyond beautiful.

Laundry Line

Rainbow in Salish Sea

Sometimes, I just stop for long enough to give this little guy all he wants in life, a ball to search for down by the creek.

Puggle with Ball

I’ve also been taking time out from my busy stay-at-home schedule to get more time with my camera and just enjoy the pictures being taken. Sometime I forget that I have other things to take pictures of beside what I’m about to stuff in my face. And so we’ve been taking little trips in to the city and around our village to really enjoy ourselves and spend our time together. Me and the little man are really enjoying being one on one so much, and I know this time is coming to an end soon, so I revel in it at every chance I can.

Duncan Garage
Royal Bank visit

Sometimes that means we need to get some moola!

Last week we made it into Victoria, to make a trip to China Town.

China Town, Victoria BC

Bonsai Tree in China Town
China Town, Victoria BC

We used to buy a lot of our produce there, but it is now a 45 minute drive away and is no longer the money saver it used to be. Now we rely on the Farmer’s Markets and local stores around, but it’s nice to visit the old haunts once in a while too.

So the recipes this week and last have been one I know and love, recipes I’ve come back to time and time again because they are tasty and easy and relatively cheap. Recipes like my Mom’s Creamy Caesar Salad Vinaigrette, or this Greek Salad, or my Dijon Rosemary Chicken Marinade, my Spinach and Chèvre Stuffed Chicken Breasts or my Signature “Big” Salad. These are all recipes I adore and would eat any day of the week. I know how to make them with my eyes closed, and so I do.

The following recipe is one from a few months back, but relevant nonetheless. There’s nothing quite like fresh oysters in their shells. Being that I am “with child” I am not “supposed” to eat them raw, so no raw oyster shooters for me. What I do like besides raw though, is Oysters Rockefeller. Again though, *sigh*, the recipe contains wine, which at the moment I am not allowed to imbibe in and therefore have none just “hanging around”, know what I mean? I had to come up with a recipe that featured the same amazing flavours, but a little less of the booze.

I would like to make a note about the wily little creatures you are about to remove from their quiet little homes. Please buy the correct implements to do so. I had no oyster knife at the time and it took me quite a while to figure out how to get them out without removing the first three layers of skin from my hands. I did resort to the use of a screwdriver, which worked, but I DO NOT recommend it! As you can see from the pictures below, it wasn’t pretty. I am no amateur oyster shucker either, as I used to work at a raw oyster bar and shucked incalculable oysters every night for the patrons of a local pub. So don’t just go grab a screwdriver with no experience and think you might do the same. Get an oyster knife!

Baked Oysters

Yield: 4 Baked Oysters
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Baking Time: 10 minutes

4 large oysters, in the shell
1/2 small onion, diced fine
1 small bunch of fresh spinach (about 2 cups, loosely packed)
2 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated

Oysters in their Shell

Know thine enemy…

Oysters on the Half Shell

1. In a small sauté pan, melt the butter and add the onions. Cook until softened.
2. Add in spinach and sauté until spinach is completely cooked and tender.
3. Season with salt & pepper and set aside.
4. Shuck oysters using an oyster knife, making sure not to lose any shell pieces into the oyster. If you do, and you can’t tell where they are, you might want to rinse the oyster under cold running water until you feel it is free of debris.

Oysters on the Half Shell

5. Be sure to cut the muscle attaching the oyster to it’s shell as well, to aid in ease of consumption.
6. Top each oyster with spinach mixture, sprinkle tops with Parmesan cheese and bake in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Oysters on the Half Shell
Oysters on the Half Shell

As the weather begins to warm up, I’ll be spending more time with these two, but I hope that as the seasons change there will also be many new and exciting recipes for me to share with you. Stay tuned for those and more!

Slides and Rocks

12 comments to Baked Oysters and Busy Days

  • Stunning photos and recipe!

  • Guilty Kitchens Mom

    That was just a great blog Liz. I guess shopping for a new Oyster knife is in our future when we get to the island eh?

  • Yep, I’m definitely in the same boat. These days are more about survival than spending hours in the kitchen trying new things.

    By the way, I’m fairly new to your blog (even though I’ve already made 2 of your recipes) but it wasn’t until I referred you to a friend that she pointed out our similarities. We both have an adorable redheaded boy and we’re both expecting our second. I’m not sure if you’re having a boy or a girl but mine is another boy. Good luck with everything!

    • Elizabeth

      Hello Danielle and thanks for making an appearance! I checked out your blog and what a cutie you’ve got too! It looks like we are due around the same time too. Nice to meet you!

  • The next time you make these (since the oysters are going to be cooked anyways) try steaming them until the shells just open then pull the shells apart. Then broil the topping since you won’t be having to cook the oysters.

  • Too funny – you are due on MY birthday! My coworker said maybe we’re sisters from a parallel universe (:

  • Giordana

    I was at Red Fish Blue Fish last night eating oyster tacones and thought of you and your blog! I came across it on Tastespotting and made those baked yam fries. :) I just moved back from NYC to little Cobble Hill and I have to agree that nothing in the world beats this scenery.

  • Richard Thuillier

    Oh tell me you didn’t open those oysters with that screw driver.

  • Giordana

    Shawnigan Lake?? That’s amazing — I used to work (and sort of manage) Moziro coffee, which is right in the village! And has the best coffee in the world, I swear. I’m looking forward to your future entries knowing that you live so close! Exciting!

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