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landarc 07-07-2013 07:51 PM

Oysters and Grilling by the Bay
Tomales Bay, that is. Today found four of us on Tomales Bay, with some unlucky oysters and clams, several different sausages, a couple of different sauces and some beer. It was a beautiful day to be waterside at The Tomales Bay Oyster Company. Kevin has prepared a mignonette of some form, along with some "Rockefeller Mix", some Tabasco and some Chinese BBQ sauce. The plan was to just hang out, enjoy the day and play around with food. This is always a good plan.

Bag of Smalls

Naturally, we started with just popping them open, adding a little lemon, Tabasco and some of Kevin's Mignonette. Raw oysters from Tomales Bay are always sweet and mild. From there, we started some charcoal, and started roasting things. Some oysters were filled with the "Rockefeller Mix" and roasted on the fire, then I arrived and more of the same occurred.


Some sliced Portobellos and sausages were then onto the grill, which was a fortunate thing, as these make a great complement to oysters, and to the clams that were soon to follow. We actually coated the mushrooms partway through with some Chinese BBQ sauce, which comes in a large tin, and appears to be a mixture of oil, ground dried fish and roasted shallots. Intense, to say the least, it melted onto the mushrooms and tripled the umami. Then the clams were dumped onto the grill.

The Mixed Grill

And here we have a mess of food, the mushrooms just about done, the clams popping, some of the filled oysters roasting and of course, the sausages. Everything just sort of trickled off of the grill over the period of an hour or so, the open spaces filling just as slowly. The clams made a great complement to the sausage, a classic pairing of briny clam and salty pork, if you slid a bite of mushroom in there, you have an 'off-the-grill' version of a Classic Chinese dish I know as Clam Sycee.

I really enjoyed the day, and that is always enough, to be with friends, to meet some new people, eat some good food, that is always a good day. Interestingly though, joining my friends Kevin, Jason and I were a couple of guys from 'over the pond'. And they brought up an interesting point. They mentioned the fact that they couldn't believe that we could get so many oysters from such a small bay. In explaining to them about the bay, it reminded me of what an amazing location the Bay Area is, and really, how we benefit so much from living here. It is easy to take for granted, until a person with a new viewpoint reminds you of the great resources we have around us.

Smoke Dawg 07-07-2013 08:17 PM

Looks like a great day. Surf and turf Brethern style!

We will put larger oysters directly on the grill (Great use for a gasser at a party) and when they pop, open up and drop into a hottub of butter, garlic, and spice of choice (Tabassco is a favorite). Just fork one out and enjoy!

tarhog 07-07-2013 08:19 PM

Excellent post Landarc. What a great day with good friends and good people. And beer!

Smoothsmoke 07-07-2013 08:20 PM

Great post! Meal looks excellent!

code3rrt 07-07-2013 08:22 PM

Super nice day!!!


Fishawn 07-07-2013 08:26 PM

Looks like a great day! .... Love hanging out & eating that way also..... No rush, a beer in hand, take a bite, throw something else on, try a new sauce on the oysters/clams & so on.... Nice scenery is just a bonus..... Cool post

landarc 07-07-2013 08:34 PM

I actually make a riff on BBQ Shrimp, which I call BBQ Oysters. I use this sauce...

BBQ Oyster sauce:
1 to 1.5 cups of chili sauce (the sweet red pepper stuff)
1/4 cup finely minced celery
1/2 cup finely minced shallots
3 cloves garlic, finely minced or salt pasted
3 tablespoon finely sliced chives
medium grind black pepper to taste
horseradish to taste

Mix all of this together, use a little cider vinegar to loosen into a syrup consistency. Put whole medium oysters over fire, when they pop open, spoon sauce over oyster and grill until hot. Serve with lemon wedges.

dwfisk 07-07-2013 08:34 PM

Very nice! Been thinking of roasted oysters & clams, your post just made the the decision an urgent one. Looks like y'all made the most out of one of those vandal proof park grills,

landarc 07-07-2013 08:37 PM

They work remarkably well for this purpose. The oyster shells and clam shells sit just right in the otherwise chunky grates.

Old Smoke 07-07-2013 08:53 PM

This thread just reminded me how long it has been since I've had BBQ'd oysters and clams.
I guess it is time to head down to Tomales Bay!
Thanks for the recipe, I usually just mince/paste some garlic into melted butter, then over the opened oysters.
Good Job!

landarc 07-07-2013 08:57 PM

Ain't nothing wrong with that Rick

93vpmod 07-07-2013 09:01 PM

You sir, live the life! Thanks for sharing so this Midwesterner can also have a taste.

firefighter4634 07-07-2013 09:08 PM

Mighty fine, mighty fine.

landarc 07-07-2013 09:16 PM


Originally Posted by 93vpmod (Post 2542927)
You sir, live the life! Thanks for sharing so this Midwesterner can also have a taste.

Thanks! In real life, next week, I will be digging up my clogged sewer, I drive a car that I have to reach out and open from the outside, I wear Carhartts that I have patched on patches. But, hey...

Twelvegaugepump 07-07-2013 10:12 PM

Awesome looking grub!

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