Last week, I embarked on a last-minute 48 hour eating trip to New Orleans with my marketing associate, Crystal. There were 4 must-eats in New Orleans:
- Emeril’s new restaurant called Meril, which is named after his daughter.
- Acme Oyster House – the most famous oyster restaurant in N.O.
- Royal Oyster House – formerly known as Tortorici’s, where Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were regulars.
- Pop-up restaurant hosted by Chef Nina Compton & Morton Salt’s Next Door Chef
At each of these fine eateries, there was ONE thing in common. Oysters.
At Meril, we had wood-fire roasted oysters:
Acme was all about sitting at the oyster bar and commanding our personal shucker to feed us. Okay, just kidding, the Acme shuckers were kinda mean and ignored us most of the time.
In addition to raw oysters, Acme featured char-grilled oysters with loads of butter and parmesan.
At the Royal Oyster House Bar, we did a round of raw oysters and a round of char-grilled butter/parmesan topped oysters.
And finally, Chef Nina Compton’s pop-up restaurant for a taping of Morton Salt’s Next Door Chef event. We had broiled oysters with a jerk seasoning, breadcrumbs and coarse sea salt. The New Orleans video will launch later in 2017. Each dish Chef Nina served focused on using the right type of salt – kosher, coarse sea salt and fine sea salt.
While I love me some cooked, grilled, roasted or broiled oyster, my heart lies in the simple, plain, raw oyster.
Almost all restaurants serve raw oysters with the standard red cocktail sauce, spicy horseradish and plain crackers. In New Orleans, Tabasco is always on the table within reach.
But the only condiment that I *must* have for oysters is either flaky or coarse sea salt.
I love the clean, briny flavor of oysters, and hate to muck or hide the true essence up with too-bold of sauces. Sometimes, I’ll pair oysters with a bright Asian Mignonette….but always with coarse or flaky sea salt.
My friend asked, “Why don’t you use fine sea salt on the oysters?”
The larger salt crystals give a little “pop” and crunch when you bite into it, providing a pleasant salty tingle. That’s all that’s needed for my fresh oysters!
A big thanks to Morton Salt for hosting our New Orleans eating extravaganza – check out their Next Door Chef series online, where they pair a cooking newbie with a renowned local chef. You’ll learn how salt transforms your cooking, and specific applications for each type of salt.
- Morton Kosher Salt adds a gourmet touch to the dish. It is the preferred salt of so many chefs because it is easy to control for perfectly seasoned food.
- Morton Coarse Sea Salt adds an artistic “pop” you and your dinner guests can see and taste. The larger than table salt crystals provide contrasting texture.
- Morton Fine Sea Salt adds a “pop” while still being fine enough for blending in all cooking. The fine salt crystals dissolve quickly making them perfect for marinades, soups, sauces and dressings
I will be sharing more about this event when the video and recipes get published on the Next Door Chef website, but I encourage you to go there to see what they did in Chicago and learn more about how you can improve your cooking technique for the holidays. www.mortonsalt.com/nextdoorchef
Here’s what you need for the perfect oyster feast
- Raw oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms. I’ve had their oysters, clams and shellfish sent to my home several times, and everything has been incredibly fresh.
- If you’re a beginner in shucking, I highly recommend the oyster knife with cut-resistant glove.
- For the pro’s, a sharp, stainless steel shucking knife with pakka wood handle
- An oyster grill pan for the cooked-oyster lovers
- Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home a Taste of the Sea book, written by my friend, Cynthia Nims.
- Of course, Morton Coarse Sea Salt to provide the perfect crunch and flavor of the Mediterranean Sea
$100 Oyster Feast Giveaway
While the trip to New Orleans and this post was sponsored by Morton Salt (all opinions are 100% my own), this giveaway is sponsored by me! Steamy Kitchen 🙂 I want you to experience the joy of fresh oysters. I’ll send the winner $100 gift certificate to Taylor Shellfish and all of the tools that you see above in the photo.
To enter, answer this question: What’s your favorite recipe listed on the Next Door Chef’s website?