Cedar Key Baked Oysters with Portuguese Chorizo Butter
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup fresh chorizo sausage, removed from the casing and crumbled
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup fine dried breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
- 2 dozen freshly shucked Cedar Key oysters, plus reserved oyster liquor
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
- Rock salt, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. Let cool to room temperature.
In another medium-size mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley and Creole seasoning. Mix well. Add the oyster liquor and set aside.
Add the softened butter to the cooled chorizo mixture and mix well. Transfer the compound butter to a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and roll up and twist the ends tightly to form a cylinder. Refrigerate until the butter is thoroughly chilled, up to several days in advance.
Spread the rock salt in an even layer on a baking sheet or an oven-proof platter. Transfer the oysters to the platter. Place a slice of the compound butter on top of each oyster and top with a tablespoon of the breadcrumbs.
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs have browned and the edges of the oysters have just begun to curl.