The normal, mesmerizing flow of the rolling stream was shattered by the trout duo, simultaneously busting through the surface while taking our lines. When two of these beauties are netted at the same time, it guarantees a delicious grilled or smoked trout dinner sometime in the near future. A few weeks later, about 770 miles away, fresh oysters were being packed in ice, being readied for a road trip that would take the better part of the day. Little did anyone know that these two independent events, unrelated at the time, were destined to cross paths in a future, wood fired dinner, complemented by a couple of toasty hunks of crawfish bread. The timing was perfect, as was the evening that brought the oysters, trout, and crawfish bread together in a delicious fish and seafood feast from the grill.
The trout were stout, as Dr Seuss might say, and provided a handful. But after cleaning, the first layer of pin bones was surgically removed. Once done, a generous sprinkling of seasoning seemed the only logical thing to do.
Meanwhile, the oysters were shucked by those that fancied themselves shuckers, which excluded myself. In the midst of all this shucking, a healthy dose of butter (1 stick) was softened, mixed with a pinch of Kosher salt, white pepper and cayenne, a tsp of cracked black pepper, a Tbsp of minced garlic, and about 4 Tbsp of pecorino Romano, and a spritz of lemon juice. After mixing thoroughly, the butter mixture divided into small portions, about the size of a nickel or quarter, and put in the freezer to firm up a bit. This is a take off of the recipe from Drago’s Restaurant in New Orleans, and is quite tasty. Then the fun begins, because apparently, oysters just love wicked hot flames, and well, where there aren’t any, the good stuff, like this butter, sauce mixture that we made, will get things rolling, and rolling they went. The trout were laid out on the grill, close to the flame, but not directly over it.
After 5 to 10 minutes, they’ll be ready to be flipped, cautiously and carefully, and in stealth mode, like you’re sneaking up on them. Don’t go all “cowboy” on them, grabbing and flipping like you’re throwing flapjacks, or someone’s gonna lose their head, hehe.
More maneuvering is needed when the oysters make their appearance, challenging you to set them level, over a very hot fire while trying everything possible to keep the slippery oysters securely within the confines of their juicy shells. Sometimes near impossible, but the finger and hand burns only hurt for a while. Sacrifices!
See those bubbles? That means they are ready to be topped with that herb butter and even more pecorino, or whatever you choose to top them with. What ensued was an inferno of flavor being imparted onto these beauties, and I gotta tell ya, at the time it seemed like I was the one that was going to go up in flames and be chargrilled. Who needs eyebrows anyway?
The butter mixture was flowing, and the grated cheese melted and got all crusty, providing chargrilled goodness and unmatched flavor. After only a few minutes they were ready to be taken off, sprinkled with chopped parsley and served, along with the trout and the crawfish bread which was basking in the warmth of the oven. It was a fish and seafood feast full of all those familiar flavors that we love, and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?
Because Life Is Better Wood Fired