Growing up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, oysters were a part of every special occasion- from holiday dinners, to birthday parties, and everything in between. So it seemed natural for oysters to be a part of our Valentine’s Day celebration too.
On a recent adventure to the market (and I say adventure because going anywhere with a 5 year old IS an adventure), Shaun found some great local oysters and jumbo lump crabmeat. Though delectable on their own, the saltiness of an oyster pairs perfectly with the creaminess of crab. Shaun began by shucking the oysters and leaving them on the half shell. If you’ve never shucked an oyster or find it intimidating, don’t worry, it’s actually quite easy!
Once the oysters were ready, Shaun set out to make the perfect crab topping. Shallots, onions, panko, cream cheese, egg, salt, pepper and of course- rich, buttery crab- were gently folded together. The crab mixture was placed on top of the oysters and baked until golden brown. The result was nothing short of amazing. Not quite a crab cake, not quite crab imperial- something totally unique, and totally lip-smacking-amazing-and-delicious.
The crab really shines in this dish, but the oyster is the star. Oysters are a classic “romantic” food, probably because they are perfect for sharing. Valentine’s Day is all about love, and what’s a better way to celebrate than sharing food with the ones you love? This dish is quick and easy, but tastes rich and luxurious, a perfect appetizer for your Valentine’s Day meal.
Oysters on the Half Shell Baked with Creamy Crab
1 dozen Chesapeake Bay Oysters (or oyster of your choice), shucked on the half shell
1 small shallot, diced
½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup plain panko bread crumbs
½ small yellow onion, diced
½ lb jumbo lump (or backfin) crab meat, depending on availability
¼ tsp sea salt
½ freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs butter, melted
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Set oven to high broil.
In a bowl, combine shallot, cream cheese, panko, onion, egg, salt, pepper, and crab meat. Gently fold together to incorporate ingredients.
Place shucked oysters (on the half shell) on a foil lined baking tray. Top each oyster with enough crab mixture to fully cover each shell, the amount will vary depending on the size of the oysters. Spoon melted butter generously over each oyster.
Broil in oven, until crab mixture is lightly browned. About 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Top with fresh parsley.