BBQ Oysters and Beer’d Clams at Hog Island Oyster Farm

by foodhoe on December 5, 2007

I know, enough already with the oysters! I admit that I am just crazy for oysters… and since we have discovered how beautiful it is at Hog Island Oyster Farm and how delicious the oysters are when you shuck them yourselves (not to mention cheap), we just keep coming up with reasons to visit. Mr. K was able to secure reservations for a table at 1:00 pm last weekend and there were many unoccupied tables, so I think it is safe to say that during the winter months it is not critical to have a reservation to find a table… It was clear and sunny but with a damp chill in the air, a lovely California winter day.

We enjoyed another bottle of the Vocoret chablis while slurping the raw oysters and I tried out some new recipes with very delicious results! Here is a picture of some small Sweetwater and Kumamoto Oysters. Words really fail to describe how plumply sweet and clean tasting these are fresh from the water and shucked. They are delicious plain, or with a squeeze of lemon and a couple of drops of tabasco or a dribble of the sublime hogwash

It’s impossible to say that one is better than the other – the sweetwaters are just larger… Here is Mank, our fish monger fully outfitted and ready to get shucking – he and Mr. K did a fine job keeping the oysters on our plates.

We came prepared with the ingredients for BBQ’d Oysters from the Hog Island website because these guys really know their oysters, as proven with the recipe for the hogwash. We all agree that there is nothing better on the oysters… well, it’s a toss up between hogwash and just plain. The BBQ recipe is lightly cooked garlic in butter, some olive oil, lemon juice and tabasco. The title is a little misleading because the recipe does not use BBQ sauce, although they are barbecued on the grill. I made this ahead of time and brought it in the cooler, so at this point the garlicky butter was still pretty solid.

We tried an assortment of oysters with the garlic butter, and some with little dabs of bbq sauce. The butter soon melted and began to bubble, the little oysters plumped up in their garlicky bath. A delicious steam began to rise, ready for some fresh parsley to sprinkle on before eating. We put a blend of both on some, but I think that the original recipe of the garlic butter tasted best, especially if you dunk bread into the shell.

Mank liked a mix of the garlic butter with a dab of his home made mustard, which packed quite a wallop similar to wasabi. Do you have friends who show up with amazing home made things like that? He said that they ground a blend of yellow and black mustard seeds and added some spices like cumin and nutmeg. Whatever, it was amazing. I am sure that they used the freshest ingredients and hand roasted everything, because that is the way they do things… It was reallly good with slices of the Hobb’s wine cured salami with a piece of the epi-loaf from Acme that they picked up on the way over.

The recipe for Luc’s Beer’d Clams from the website was also very good to dip the bread in…. the recipe calls for one bottle of beer (we used blue heron from mendocino brewing), chopped fennel, some butter, garlic and olive oil.

It made a delicious rich broth perfumed with the garlic and fennel

Here is the gorgeous epi-loave from Acme bakery in Berkeley, one of the best breads in the known universe to take on a picnic as far as I’m concerned.

We had fresh strawberries and mandarin oranges along with some Chile Variado chocolate bar from Moonstruck Chocolates, which is a dark chocolate bar flavored with a bit of chile that leaves the tip of your tongue burning.

On our last visit we found this to be a dog friendly facility, so Otis and Lily came along with Mank and CDR. Awwww, these two are so adorable and polite and very well behaved company.

They dissolve into silliness when you rub their stomachs.

I promise that is the last one on the Hog Island Oyster Farm unless they start serving something completely different!

previous posts about the Farm: 10-07-07 | 9-16-07 |

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Single Guy Chef December 5, 2007 at 7:11 am

You are becoming the expert in fresh oysters! And the dogs ARE cute.


rowena December 5, 2007 at 10:32 am

No, no, no! It’s NEVER enough when it comes to oysters!! With this holiday season I know they’ll be bringing in the french Belons and I can’t wait til we see them at the fishmonger. Got my oyster knife ready…bring them on!


Leo December 5, 2007 at 6:59 pm

you make me want to start cooking right now! LOL!
Maybe you can help me out with something…? I want to order all of my food online from now on because of various reasons, but I don’t know where to go for quality food. I have tried 2 companies so far, Fresh Dining, and and Celebrity Foods, but I wanna get others I can try out. Do you know of any? The main thing I’ve ordered so far is steak. I guess you can say, I’m a steak junkie. LOL!!! From what I have found out (from what I have ordered so far) I think I am able to regulate the quality of beef I buy. I hate going to a store and getting that crappy slab of beef that I have to cut down until there is like nothing left. Hahaha!!!! (its so true though) Anyhow, sorry that I made this comment so long. If you can help me out or point me in a direction where I might find more quality foods online, I would greatly appreciate it. Have a good day or night! (depending on when you read this) LOL!!!!


Kirk December 6, 2007 at 9:38 pm

Hi FH – I for one, can never get enough oysters…so keep ’em coming!!


Chubbypanda December 9, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Awww… Did the doggies get any oyster?


foodhoe December 9, 2007 at 11:06 pm

single chef, yes those dogs are so cute that I invite them over and let them freak out my kitties!

rowena, i hope to see postings of french Belons, I’ve never french oysters!

leo, good luck. I think i will try to email you directly…

kirk, yay! although today we finally picked up a live dungeness, so if I can get the nerve to take pictures…

chubbypanda, those dogs snuck almost an entire epi-loaf so they got their treats for sure… we are the evil uncle and aunt who feed them bad human food and their owners have the unpleasant repercussions afterwards… we have been fairly well trained to not drop food for the well-fed pups 🙁


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