After our vacation a month ago (can’t believe it has been that long since we were at the beach) we went to Panama City Beach. I already told you the honeymoon story when I posted the White Chocolate Key Lime Pie.
So our first night there we got recommendations for a couple of restaurants. One was the Boat Yard and another one was Anderson’s Seafood (we had eaten at Anderson’s 44 years ago). While we were strolling around the boat docks looking at what the fishermen and their clients had caught for the day we came upon Boat Yard. It had really good reviews etc. and when we went in there was at least an hour’s wait. We like our nice restaurants just like everyone else, but we both kind of looked at each other and decided it was too touristy for us, too big and not at all what we were looking for. I had done some googling for oyster and soft shell crab restaurants and found Billy’s Oyster Bar which turned out to be just across the street. Definitely a local spot.
Upon arriving at the restaurant I was told that there would be a 20 minute wait for either inside or outside dining. By the time my husband parked the car and found me I was at the bar. We ordered drinks and sat there for awhile waiting and watching a young guy shuck oysters and ended up eating our meal at the bar listening the the oyster guy. And, the soft shell crabs were delicious. I had never had them before and will definitely be looking for them on menus when we go out.
Even though Billy’s menu called these oysters Crab Baked Oysters, the young guy that talked us into ordering them said they were steamed. We are grilling them. I did add some toasted panko bread crumbs to the top of some to see how we would like them that way.
These were the hardest oysters my husband has ever tried open.
These were monster oysters. I bought 18 (they gave me 22) and I thought I need help carrying them out.
After loosening the oyster from the shell top with a little crab-meat.
Top with about one teaspoon of grated Parmesan cheese.
Sprinkle with some chopped chives or green onions sliced thin.
Top with some toasted panko bread crumbs (see note below).
We when through three oysters knives. The first one with the shell handle broke after opening two oysters, the red one lasted about one oyster before the tip broke off and the black one (I think Oxo) saved the day and is still standing. The little wooden piece to hold the oysters didn’t fair so well though.
Parmesan Crab Grilled Oysters
24 fresh oysters (or more)
1/4 lb. crab-meat, shredded or chopped (see note)
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3-4 Tbsp. chopped chives or green onions
1/4 c. toasted panko bread crumbs
butter (see note)
Clean the oyster shells before opening. Open the oysters and loosen the oyster from the shell. Drain off any liquid and make sure you get out any pieces of shell that may have gotten into the oyster.
Put a small amount of crab on top of each oyster, top with maybe a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with chives or green onions. Top with a few bread crumbs that you have toasted either in the oven or in a skillet.
Drizzle a little butter over each oyster.
Grill for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately. If you do in the oven I would broil on the lower rack for about 8 minutes.
Note: First for the crab — I didn’t want to buy a whole carton of the crab-meat so I bought one king crab leg. Next time I would probably buy snow crab or blue crab to get more of a crab taste. One king crab leg didn’t have as much meat as I wanted. On the bread crumbs — that was an afterthought. Billy’s did not have the crumbs; I just thought it would add a little crunch, but it didn’t need the crunch and didn’t really add much flavor. I drizzled butter over the oysters before putting on the grill. Next time I do these I plan on adding one clove of finely minced garlic to the butter. I think the garlic would have really been good on these.