11.13.2012

Impress Your Holiday Guests with Carolina Crossroads Crispy Oysters Recipe

Every year, I meet my college friends for dinner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (cough) twenty years ago. Did I just say that? Anyway, we love getting together once a year.  It was my turn to plan dinner for this year's reunion. I chose Carolina Crossroads, the Forbes Four-Star and AAA Four-Diamond, restaurant located in the Carolina Inn.  I'm so happy that I did, and, of course, my friends toasted me for my restaurant picking skills. They enjoyed it, too.

Unfortunately, not all my friends had arrived yet when this photo was taken in the bar before dinner. 

The Carolina Inn was definitely the place to be for Homecoming Weekend 2012.

I love the Carolina blue flags that greet guests. 

I ordered the Lola Rosa Salad and Fall Pumpkin Tortellini
Our dinner was fantastic, and we savored every bite.  I ran into Executive Chef Jame Clark in the hall, and we chatted about the fall menu.  It's a true winner.   He was one busy man on this night.  He had an off-site party, and three parties at the inn plus all the guests having dinner in the Carolina Crossroads dining room. The next day, he had the inn's famous tailgating party plus another party for 300 people.  Hopefully, he's resting today.

Crispy oysters are an appetizer on Chef Clark's current fall menu. In North Carolina, oysters are in abundance this time of year, and it's not uncommon to host oyster roasts, especially in the coastal communities.  If the month ends in the letter "R" then it's oyster season, and my daddy always made oyster stew on Christmas Eve. Chef Clark loves to cook with seafood, and he's now sharing his signature dish with all of us.

Carolina Crossroad's Crispy Oysters on the Half Shell



Crispy Oysters on the Half Shell 

Country Ham Leek Reduction 
Ingredients
½ C. Country Ham ~ Diced
½ C. Leeks ~ Diced
1 tsp. Garlic
1 T. Olive oil
Fresh Ground Pepper to Taste
1 C. Heavy Cream
Oyster Liquor
2 T. Pernod

Oysters 
Ingredients
16 Shucked Oysters ~ Save the Liquor and Bottom Shells
1 C. AP Flour
1 C. Fine Corn Meal
2 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning
Sunchoke Relish
Enough Peanut Oil to fry Oysters at 365°


Method
1. Mix dry ingredients together. Toss in oysters and coat well.
2. Place each oyster in the hot oil and fry about 30 seconds, until crisp.
3. Place a small spoonful of the reduction on the shell.
4. Top each shell with a crispy oyster strait from the oil.
5. Finish with a dab of Sunchoke relish!

Serves 4

Enjoy!  

Don't forget that Friday is the last day to enter the fabulous 2-night luxurious hotel stay at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge in Charlotte, NC. The winner will receive two nights complimentary plus two passes to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. 


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