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@QuarryLaneFarms presents #OysterFest2012

So OysterFest started back in 2010 where we basically ordered hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of oysters with one simple rule: As long as everyone shucks oysters, you can eat as many oysters as you like. Raw, cooked, in your pants…didn’t matter. Just wanting to share the oyster love by shucking and sucking these great bivalves. You bet, OysterFest was an instantaneous hit.

Fast forward to 2012: Did someone order hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of oysters again?

Fo shizzle nizzle….cause this one’s a winner-winner-oyster-dinner.

Well, there was a whole lotta shucking going on – At this point, I am pretty sure I qualify for the MuthaShucker trophy.

Here’s the menu run down…

Soup: Cream of Asparagus Soup

Asparagus from the Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio. Easily the best asparagus I’ve ever had in my life.

@TheChefsGarden Asparagus – Fit for a king!

And it was pretty healthy since I added a whole bunch of creme fraiche too.

Super mahalos to @sobechic for the magical veggie box.

Salad: Watermelon feta basil

Watermelon, feta, basil, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper

Yeah, call me a chick…I got this one from Pinterest.

Apps: Various cheeses from Grandpa’s Cheese barn and QLF Veggie platter

Grandpa’s Cheese Barn in Ashland, Ohio sounds creepy but it’s a great tourist trap place.

Grandpa’s Cheese Barn

Thanks to @srouser for the awesome Whiskey Cheese pick! Grandpa’s Cheese Barn is also a great pit stop between Columbus-to-Cleveland.

Also – who doesn’t enjoy a good veggie platter?

Veggie platter w/ dip

Yeah, call me Nancy now cause I got the dip bowls idea from Pinterest too. Mamsey Pansey!

Main: Chincoteague Oysters (VA) and East Point Oysters (NJ)

Chincoteague

East Point

We order oysters by the hundreds

Don’t judge. If you order your oysters by the hundreds, probably a better guarantee on freshness cause your fish monger should order fresh case(s).

Us? We have a direct line to Mr. Verba at Euclid Fish (@EuclidFishCo). Solid guy – trust him w/ my bivalves.

We can’t stress this enough – YOU SHOULD BE ON A FIRST NAME BASIS WITH YOUR FISH MONGER. Nuff said.

Here are my favorite shucking tools.

Happy Mother shucking!!!

Use whatever you like…but I’ve been using this stuff forever.

Raw Oysters – Oysters should always be really fresh, clean and clear briny deliciousness. Not cloudy or dirty.

Briny oysters clean and delicious

And shucking should be clean and easy.

There are about a million toppings and stuff to put on, but I’d really suggest you try a few without anything. Yes that’s right – really taste the oysters-plain, see what the oysters ate, and really taste the water they were raised in.

Balls out time cause it really tells a lot about your product and your fishmonger.

Also clues on oyster freshness, from outside the shells, check out the seaweed that arrives on the shells/in the box too.

Seaweed so fresh, you can eat it

Pretty fresh huh?

Roasted oysters

Similar to an Oyster Roast in Charleston, this is a simple alternative to those who can’t get over their textural issues.

Step-1: Throw them on the grill.

Step-2: Wait 3 minutes

Step-3: Easily open oysters.

Step-4: Devour.

Step-5: Hit on your oyster roaster guy (OK, this one is optional…sorta).

Rinse/Repeat

The oysters should cook in their shell and suck up the briny jus inside.

Oysters also pop open when they are ready to be pulled too.

Oyster roasting – pops when ready

So easy, a caveman can do it.

Deep fried oysters

Fresh shucked larger oysters, secret breadcrumb mix, deep fry for 1 minute, serve hot.

Fry baby fry!

Doesn’t get any easier right?

Dessert: mini lemon tarts and cake pops

Super huge thanks to @hfish of MyGreatBigRecipeChallenge for the mini lemon tarts.

Awesome crust!

Cake pops…yes the coolest dessert yet!

Cake pops and props

Easy and fun stuff – cake pops seems to be the latest rage for desserts.

They were delicious!

In the end, OysterFest2012 was all about great friends and meeting new folks. And yes, the props helped too.

Mrs. Lips galore, Mr. Meatballs, and Ms. Talonclaw busting out the props!

The Brit and Ms. America (with a guest appearance from bowtie sausage fingers)

Ladies all at once now…

Stash McGee and Smiles McGee!

Cake pops and props are a hit!

Mrs Bowtie and the Aloha Shirt Bandit!

Mr. Bond and Mrs. Peggy Sue

In the famous words by Bourdain, “So what did we learn today?”

Oysters + Bourbon + Props + Friends = Another successful #OysterFest2012.

Sweeping up shells and dreaming of the next OysterFest.

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms….

So a while ago, Top Chef contestant Hung talked about Four Season Rice Pot.

Top Chef Contestant Hung

In fact, a recent rerun of No Reservations in Hong Kong featured this delicious sausage filled dish on Temple Street as Anthony Bourdain and Josh devoured this one-clay-pot-wonder.

Anthony Bourdain in Hong Kong

So running on yellow fever, we decided to give this one-pot-wonder a try.

How to make this complex dish? Basically throw everything into a pot and bring to a boil. Wild mushrooms, onions, shoyu, bamboo shoots, green onions, white pepper, salt, garlic, white onions, rice, chicken stock, water, sesame oil, and Leup cheong.

Half way done....

As the pot cooks for about 45 minutes, the sausage goodness seeps into the rice and permeates the entire pot. All the veggies do the same but the mushrooms soak up all the savory flavors.

Steamy one pot love

Check out the final mixa-mixa.

Hung better bet right - let's dig in

Sweet from the sausage goodness that envelopes the room once the cover is removed.

Salty from the mushrooms which sucked up all the deliciousness from all the players in the pot.

And hints of spicy from the chili pepper flakes which speckled evenly throughout the dish.

Savory from the garlic and shoyu which help melt everything together into one happy family.

As we unearth the final few bites…we found that our rice could have used a bit more sesame oil. More browning  = more crispiness.

Sausage and rice is so SO nice

But overall, we pretty much got that crispy bottom.

Crispy browned rice thanks to our clay bowls

Awww yeah.

Brown bottom indeed

Who’s your crispy rice bottom daddy?

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…

Dear Chef Eric Ripert (@ericripert)-

Apparently my invitation to the 2012 Cayman Cookout was lost in the mail…again. In hopes to better my chances for 2013, I present to you the following:

1. I was the first one who retweeted your favorite picture from yesterday.

#Sexytime = @NoReservations

2. @OttaviaBourdain tweeted and said she liked our post about her (check her out!).

Ottavia Bourdain - I'd hit that - HAWT (Photo court Splash)

3. Oui, J’adore le poisson homme Justo Thomas.

Worth his weight in gold

So… I’ll be waiting for the invitation for 2013.

If needed, I'll gladly do some truffle shuffles for entertainment

I got my board shorts and aloha shirt ready.

Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…

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