Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memphis...Fire Up The BBQ, Turn Up The Music and Pass the Oysters?

Memphis has deep roots in both jazz and Southern food.

When I was in Memphis, Lisa Marie Presley was there recording her new album at Sun Studios where her father recorded back in the 50’s along with Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. 

Any time of the day or night, you can wander down to Beale Street, an almost 2 mile stretch of blues clubs, and catch a live performance, order drinks from one of the many street bars, or hit up one of the area restaurants for BBQ coated in dry rub, fried Catfish or Chicken, hushpuppies, cornbread, grits and gravies. Memphis is a great taste of Southern.

Beale Street has an atmosphere that is absolutely New Orleans. I met two women on the trolley that go down to Beale Street once a week and have since their early twenties. One of them just turned seventy.Speaking of cars, we didn’t need a car in Memphis. The street car’s are $1 a ride and stretch from one end of the downtown to the other.

Traveling down to the Memphis World Championship BBQ Cookoff, I thoroughly expected to overload of BBQ. I did but I also had the best fried chicken I’ve ever had (Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken - Crispy and not the least bit greasy) and Chargrilled Oysters (Pearl’s Oyster House) that were so good, I had a second meal and ate the entire plate all by myself.

I couldn’t wait to get home and try them in my own kitchen.

So this is what I did because I remembered every bite while I was eating them…

Start your grill and let the coals grey out. You will cook these oysters on very high heat.

Shuck the oysters.

Mix soft butter and sweet chili sauce. Cover the oysters.

Cook over high heat for about 3-4 minutes.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the oysters and cook a few more minutes until the cheese is brown and the oysters curl.

After thoughts:

These were DELICIOUS! I really liked the sweet chili sauce and am almost certain that is what Pearl’s used.

I put too much cheese on them. You want to just cover them.

These need to go under a broiler for a minute or two to brown the cheese. The grill just didn’t cut it.