This month I want to tell you about a food adventure I took in March. I traveled to Sonoma County and the surrounding area.
In addition to enjoying great wines, we spent a day travelling to an area I had not visited in my previous trips to Northern California Point Reyes. This trip was an amazing drive through the lush farm country of California. To my surprise we discovered several Cheese Factories (think Pt. Reyes Blue) and a range of delicious cheeses many of which we find here locally.
Purchasing some fresh baked bread and triple cream brie, we hoped to enjoy a French lunch later in the day. Continuing on, we ended up at Pt. Reyes Lighthouse watching grey whales, sea lions, a bobcat, deer and a plethora of birds (but that’s for later in the story).
Travelling back from Pt. Reyes Station, up the eastern side of Tomales Bay we came to Hog Island Oyster Co. It didn’t look like much but on a lark we checked it out. This turned out to be the best choice of the day! Beyond the oyster processing area where they were sorting, cleaning and bagging oysters to ship worldwide, there was a small stand serving the freshest oysters I have ever eaten.
Grabbing a dozen on the ½ shell and an order of four barbecued, we popped a bottle of sparking J Rose. The sun in our faces, sitting at a rustic table right on the bay, we slurped oysters and quaffed bubbly. All I can say is wow what a great way to spend an afternoon. Two dozen ½ shelled fresh Hog Island oysters and another dozen barbecue later the J was done and we were ready to travel again.
Finishing the day driving through Bodega Bay, made famous by Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren in ‘The Birds’, we looked at many of the movie locations. Luckily for us, the avian population was very well behaved and it was a great finish to a beautiful day.
I wanted to re-create those delicious grilled garlic chipotle oysters, so getting a couple of dozen gulf oysters locally we mixed up a batch based on the recipe from http://hogislandoysters.com/node/206.
What I found out is the fresh oysters are moister so the recipe needed to be modified a bit.
• 1/2 lb (two sticks) unsalted butter softened to room temp
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup bourbon
• 1/2 cup of white wine
• 1/2 cup minced garlic
• Half of (10 oz) can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
Mix all ingredients and refrigerate, shuck your oysters and get the grill hot. Place oysters on the half shell with a spoonful of the chilled butter mixture on top. Cook till the butter melts and bubbles around the oyster. Be sure to have some crusty bread handy to sop up all the great juice.
Carpe Diem, Glenn
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