Paul Gerard is the chef of New York’s Exchange Alley. His BBQ oysters were inspired by his cookouts down in New Orleans. “My friends and I would pull oysters out of the Gulf, crack them open and throw them on beach fires, and add all kinds of different sauces. Then, when I brought the recipe up to New York, I also was making this BBQ bacon sandwich. I thought, these two would be great together, so I combined the BBQ with the bacon and with the oysters.”
Paul Gerard’s Bacon BBQ Oysters
Oyster Barbecue Sauce:
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh chilies
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/8 cup tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon pimento smoked paprika
- Freshly ground black pepper
Sweat the veg, add everything except the thyme, simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat, add thyme. Adjust acid. Season to taste.
2 dozen large oysters on the half shell. (Blue Points or gulf oysters are good)
1 pound crispy cooked bacon (roughly chopped or broken by hand)
Yellow celery leaves (the very centers of the hearts, picked/washed)
Sliced fresh chilis (or hot sauce available)
Top each oyster with a dollop of BBQ sauce, and some chopped bacon.
Place on barbecue grill, close lid for a minute or two to caramelize the sauce a bit, or you can just cook straight on an open grill until they begin to bubble.
Remove from grill and top with sliced chilis, bits of celery leaf, and lemon.