18 thick slices bacon
36 shucked fresh oysters
4 wood or metal skewers (the brochettes), each 10 to 12 inches long
2 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 gallon vegetable oil
1 recipe meunière butter below
6 toast points
Lemon wedges, for garnish
Strain the oyster juices (the “liquor”) into a container to remove grit and refrigerate or freeze for future use. Set the oysters aside.
Cut the bacon slices in half to produce 36 pieces. Cook the pieces in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, to render some of the fat. (The bacon should not be crisp, but only lightly browned, and pliable enough to fold for skewering.) Drain the pieces on absorbent paper.
Onto each skewer (brochette), spear 1 folded piece of bacon, then 1 oyster. Repeat until each skewer contains 6 oysters and 6 alternating pieces of bacon. Set the brochettes aside.
In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together to create an egg wash. Place the flour, salt and pepper in another shallow bowl or platter and mix thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 200˚F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place it in the oven.
Over high heat, pour enough oil to fill about 1/3 of a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven (or, set a deep fryer to 350˚F).
While the oil is heating, dip the oyster-bacon brochettes into the egg wash, allowing the excess liquid to drain away. Then coat the oysters and bacon thickly with the seasoned flour, gently shaking off the excess flour.
When the oil reached the correct temperature – or is hot but is not smoking – fry the brochettes in batches, carefully dropping each one into the hot oil with tongs. Fry each batch for 4 to 5 minutes, until the oysters are golden and the brochettes float to the top. Be sure to return the oil to 350˚F before frying each batch.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried brochettes to the paper towels into the warm oven until all have been fried. Remove the brochettes from the warming oven. Place a single brochette on each serving plate. Holding one end of the skewer, and using a kitchen fork, carefully push the oysters and bacon pieces to slide them off of the skewer. Place each serving of oysters and bacon on one of the toast points and drizzle generously with meunière butter (recipe below). Garnish each plate with a lemon wedge.
Yields 6 servings.
1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
½ cup In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter until a foam appears, about 3 to 4 minutes. Once foam has appeared, add parsley and cook for 1 more minute, or until the butter starts to brown. Remove from heat and serve.
©Kit Wohl The P&J Oyster Cookbook by permission of Pelican Publishing Co.