Oysters in Savannah are as common as gnats in the summer. During the winter, most parties feature some sort of oyster roast, fried oysters, or another oyster dish. Personally, I love oysters almost any way you can cook them, and my love for oysters did not bloom until I moved to Savannah.
Most of the time, a party leaves behind a good many oysters that the hostess has nothing he/she can do with them. Well, that has all changed.
After our most recent party (that, of course, featured oysters), I found my self with a half of a bushel of oysters still alive. The challenge became how to utilize such a large amount of fresh oysters. Again, searching my pantry, I came up with a pasta that is reminiscent of a true carbonara, but a bit more refined.
Be warned, this pasta is extremely decadent and can go a long way. The addition of a sous vide egg yolk really sets it over the edge. I liked using two egg yolks per person.
My recommendation is to start the oysters first. With about 30 minutes left, begin the bacon, then the sous vide egg. Next shuck your oysters. Once finished with the oysters, start the water for the pasta.
- 1/2 a Bushel of Fresh Oysters
First soak the flavored wood chips you intend on using for at least one hour prior to cooking. When ready, heat your big green egg or smoker to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Once at the correct temperature and holding, add in a few wood chips. Be careful to watch the temperature of your smoker after adding in the wood chips because when they catch fire, the open flame can raise the temperature quickly, given the low temperature of 175 degrees. Layer your raw oysters in single layer on the grate. Close the lid, and let smoke for 2 hours at 175. If before your two hours is up the smoke slows down, feel free to add more wood.
Once two hours have passed, remove your oysters. Clean the meat from each oyster, remove the adductor muscle, and store the meat in a sealable container.
Sous Vide Egg Yolk
Preheat your sous vide machine to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently place your egg yolks in a sealable, heat proof container. Slowly pour over enough olive oil to fully submerge the egg yolks. Cover container, and gently place into the warm water. Sous-vide for at least one hour. The eggs yolks can sit in the sous vide for up to an additional hour before over cooking.
Smoked Oyster Linguine
- 12 slices of thick cut bacon
- Smoked Oysters, see above
- 1 Box of Linguine
- 3 Cups of Fresh Spinach
- 6 tablespoons of my Parmesan Parsley Butter (find it here)
- 1 Lemon
- 8 Sous Vided Egg Yolks
- 2 Cups of Grated Parmesan
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a two sheet pans with foil or parchment paper. Layer your bacon on each pan in a single layer. Bake for about one hour, until the bacon is the color you prefer. Drain on paper towels, then crumble.
While the bacon cooks, prep and cook your egg yolks.
Once you have the egg yolks going, start a large pot of salted and oiled water over medium heat.
Get your oysters cleaned and ready.
Once your pot of water is at a boil, throw in your pasta. It should take about 9 minutes to cook the pasta al dente.
Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. Throw in your butter and let melt. Then add the spinach. Cook your spinach for 2-3 minutes until wilted. Once wilted, add it the zest of your lemon, plus the fresh juice. Stir in your parmesan, bacon, and oysters.
By this time your pasta should be ready, so drain the noodles and add to the sauce.
Serve the pasta immediately in individual bowls, topping each with 2 egg yolks and a sprinkle of fresh Parmesan.