Shuck and Chive
Chives are plentiful right now. Your garden may be overflowing, your neighbors inviting you over to help them thin their chive patch, or dropping off bundles of these flavorful early spring herbs. If you don’t have a source, stop by any farmers market this week and you’re bound to find plenty.
If you’re ready to start refilling your freezer, chive butter is an easy way to start. Delicious on seafood, meat, freshly baked bread, or tossed in with sautéed or roasted vegetables. I recently mixed up a batch to use on some grilled oysters and the butter floated the bright flavor of the chives over the plump oysters perfectly.
It’s not like you need a reason to travel to Homer, but if you’re looking for one, may I suggest freshly harvested oysters from Jakolof Bay Oyster Company? I picked up a dozen at the Homer Farmers Market last week, hoping the rain would subside at some point over Memorial Day weekend so that I could get a quick fire going. Grilling oysters is beyond simple—all you need are some hot coals and some kind of grill to set the oysters on. (You could probably use some rocks if you found yourself grill-less. Very paleo). This is also a an easy out if you don’t feel like shucking (or can’t find an oyster knife). Two dozen local oysters on the grill popping open all on their own and offering themselves to you is really a nice treat.
Get the coals going early so they have time to burn down. I set our grill plate over the coals and lay the rinsed oysters on top. After a few minutes the oysters will be steaming happily and you may hear a shell or two pop open. As the oysters open carefully pull them off the grill and remove the flat shell, trying to keep as much liquid as you can in the deeper half of the shell. Have a sharp paring knife at the ready—you’ll still need to disconnect the meat from the shell.
I topped the hot oysters with freshly made chive butter and sucked them down as soon as they were cool enough to eat. Warm grilled oysters on a foggy day are a perfect taste of Homer.
Makes 1/2 cup
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
Mix the chives and butter together and season with salt and pepper.
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