When it comes to the cooler months, Florida’s oysters— Apalachicola to be exact—become some of the most sought-after bivalves around. Plump and mellow, these large oysters are enjoyed the world over and the Florida Panhandle’s true marine treasure.
The old cliché of the “R” months holds a grain of truth: the shelled delicacies taste best when harvested in fall and winter. And they’re loaded with zinc—a mineral that helps the body produce testosterone—which gives them their aphrodisiac reputation. Low in calories and cholesterol, they’re also good sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids—simply put, these are a true superfood.
For those who can’t quite bring themselves to tilt their head back and savor them slowly, raw, then this recipe for spicy jalapeno bacon and cheese oysters from Chef Justin Timineri is a great way to enjoy the mollusk.
Fresh from Florida: Spicy Jalapeno Bacon & Cheese Oysters
Spicy Jalapeno Bacon & Cheese Oysters
- 36 oysters, shucked, on the half shell
- Rock salt
- 12 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
- ½ cup cooked bacon, crumbled
- 4 jalapeno peppers, chopped
- Arrange oysters on rock salt in a baking dish.
- Top each oyster with ½ tsp. of cheese, crumbled bacon and chopped jalapeno to taste.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges of oysters begin to curl.
Recipe and image courtesy of chef Justin Timineri and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.