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Fresh Oyster Feast

Tonging for oysters is lots of fun and full of laughs. But why should the fun stop once you’re back on shore? Cap off the day with a fresh oyster feast.

Once the recipes are under way, light the fire or fire up the grill, then shuck a few oysters and take turns slurping down raw ones followed by blackberry wine chasers. — Kris Wetherbee

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Fresh raw oysters
Blackberry Wine Chasers (or your favorite fruit wine)
Oyster Shooters
Gingered Oyster Ceviche
Steamed Oysters
Crusty bread
Grilled Corn with Cumin-Lime Butter
Autumn Fig Fruit Salad in Vanilla Bean Dressing

Oyster Shooters

Put one raw oyster in each shot glass. Top with cocktail sauce or cover with V-8 or tomato juice mixed with vodka. Finish with hot sauce and lemon wedge, if desired.


Steamed Oysters

Place a quarter-inch of beer or wine in the bottom of the pot for added flavor when steaming oysters. Steam flat side up until shells open (6 to 10 minutes). Discard any oysters that don’t open after steaming. Serve with dressing of choice and crusty bread .

GRILLED CORN with CUMIN-LIME BUTTER

The heat of the grill brings out the best in corn, causing its natural sugars to caramelize and the kernels to develop a distinctive smoky flavor.

Ingredients
• 4 ears of corn
• 3 tablespoons melted butter
• 1½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
• ¼ teaspoon cumin
• ¼ teaspoon garlic salt

Peel off excess husks from ears, leaving a few layers. Pull remaining husks back from kernels, keeping them attached at the base. Remove silks and push husks back around the ears. Rinse corn and tie husks in place with string or dental floss, if needed.

While the grill is heating, make the Cumin-Lime Butter. Mix melted butter, lime juice, cumin and garlic salt in a small bowl.

Place corn on grill rack for 15 to 25 minutes, turning ears every few minutes or until the first layer of husk is completely charred. (If using charcoal, put corn on the grill just after the coals have died down but are still red.) Cooking time will vary on the temperature of your grill and the variety, tenderness and size of corn. The husks will separate lengthwise, allowing some of the kernels to brown. The more they brown, the sweeter the corn tastes. You also can peel back the husks the last several minutes on the grill to brown all the kernels, if desired.

Peel away blackened husks and serve with the Cumin-Lime Butter.

GINGERED OYSTER CEVICHE

Marinating raw oysters in lemon and lime juice does wonders for the flavor and texture of the flesh. The acid in the citrus juices “cooks” the oysters.

Ingredients
• 6 to 10 shucked fresh oysters
• ½ cup chopped fresh tomato
• ½ cup combined fresh lime
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped and lemon juices fresh ginger root
• 1/3 cup seeded and diced cucumber
• 1 small green onion, chopped
• 1/8 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
• freshly ground black pepper (optional)
• butter lettuce leaves or salad mix

Rinse oysters to remove grit. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl or shallow dish (i.e. stainless steel or glass) and gently toss until mixed. Cover and refrigerate two to four hours, or as long as overnight, turning oysters occasionally.

Season to taste with black pepper. Place one lettuce leaf or a serving of salad mix on individual plates. Arrange ceviche inside the leaves or on top of the salad mix and serve.



Autumn Fig Fruit SaladONLINE EXCLUSIVE: AUTUMN FIG FRUIT SALAD IN VANILLA BEAN DRESSING

Dressing Ingredients
• ½ cup white wine
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Salad Ingredients
• 4 cups chopped mixed seasonal fruit, such as apples, Asian pears, grapes, oranges, bananas, etc.
• 6 to 8 fresh figs, chopped; or 10 to 12 dried figs, coarsely chopped
• 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally while toasting

To prepare dressing, combine wine, honey and vanilla bean in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Combine prepared fruit in a large serving bowl. Remove vanilla bean, then pour dressing over fruit. Gently toss to coat fruit. Serve immediately, or chill for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Serves six